Recovery Time for Tummy Tuck + Hernia + Breast Aug?

I will be having a tummy tuck and with that, they will be fixing a hernia along with implants and a lift. I have a 3 year old and a 6 month old. How long would I be in recovery before I can lift my 20 pound baby?

Doctor Answers 18

Hernia repair OR tummy tuck - minimum 6 weeks restriction

Most of us use the magic number of 6 weeks following a tummy tuck before allowing patients to lift heavy objects (your child!) or do strenuous activities. We took this number from general surgery and hernia repairs. The reason for this length of time is that this is when the "repair" (whether it be the rectus diastasis repair in the mid-line, or a hernia repair with or without mesh) has reached around 80% of its tensile strength. If you look at wound disruption curves against time, the repairs are very weak the first week after surgery, and then begin getting stronger (more so in the last 3 weeks of the 6). At 6 weeks, around 80% is reached, but then the remainder happens very slowly over the next few months - so it does not make sense to restrict people past this time. The mild discomfort that you feel when challenging the repair is the body's method of preventing you from doing too much.

Hope this helps!

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

At least 3 weeks for tummy tuck, breast lift and augmentation recovery


You are having a lot of surgery for one operation. Multiple procedures do prolong recovery and you should know that the risk of complications is greater when you do more than one procedure.

The problem is that multiple areas have to heal and your anesthesia time is longer.

You need to be up and around walking right after your surgery to prevent blood clots in your legs.

With the procedures you are having, if you were my patient, I would guess that you will not be comfortable lifting your baby for at least 10 days and I would plan to have help at home for at least the first week to ten days.

You will not be able to do vigorous activity like lifting or working out for at least 3 possibly 4 weeks.

Recovery After a Mommy Makeover

The Mommy Makeover is a combination of procedures to bring a woman’s body back to the way she looked prior to pregnancy. Most commonly some variation of a #TummyTuck and #BreastSurgery are performed. Additional procedures can include liposuction, umbilical hernia repair.  The most common #breastprocedures include #mastopexy or #breastlift, #breastaugmentation, or #breastreduction.   

Healing after a  #tummytuck will require time. Some patients are out of bed and walking the night of surgery and every hour while awake. I allow my patients to return to work at one to two weeks with 14 days preferred.  However, no lifting or straining.  At three weeks, increased level of activity and full with no restrictions, at 6 weeks. #Healing will continue for 2-3 months following your #Augmentation #Mastopexy procedure. There may be some swelling, bruising, malposition, color differences. Sensation will be abnormal. Scars will also be changing. But, it can be up to one year see your final result. Your doctor may require you to move or massage the implants within the breast pockets during the #postoperative period. #Textured implants do not require breast massage. You will be informed about this at your post-operative visit.
Also, the two breasts commonly heal quite differently so #asymmetry is not unusual. One breast may swell more, feel more uncomfortable, or have a different initial shape. After complete #healing, they will be more similar and natural. You must have patience, but if this causes concern, ask questions of the doctor or the nursing staff.
As I advise my patients, if your work keeps you sedentary, you may return whenever you feel up to it. If your work is strenuous, wait until your work activity does not cause any superficial pain.
Some employers will modify a person’s job duties so they can back sooner, but without physical activity. Our office can provide our patients with a note stating they are not to engage in strenuous activity for a specified period of time. The note will not disclose what procedure they have underwent. Therefore, you may have to request a similar note from your surgeon if you are not independently employed. I recommend avoiding heavy lifting and strenuous #activity for six weeks following your surgery. With that said, it may help you plan your return to work accordingly.

As for heavy lifting and other #strenuous #activities, it should be avoided for until you have clearance from your surgeon. You may, however, do normal activities at any time if they cause no pain or #discomfort. Let your body tell you what you can or cannot do. Aerobic exercise will raise your blood pressure, which could cause late bleeding and harm your result. Once you begin exercising again, start gently and let your body tell you what it can tolerate. Don’t rush!!  If you have concerns about your healing, or pain that you question to be unusual, it is important to call your plastic surgeon to discuss these further asked to be examined.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Recovery time for tummy tuck with hernia repair and a breast augmentation

Typically a Mommy Makeover is a combination of some type of breast recontouring, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) or mini abdominoplasty and and liposuction of the hips and thighs. When all 3 components are performed at the same time the results are usually very dramatic. In order to achieve the best outcome it is essential to closely follow the postoperative instructions given to you by your surgeon. Each surgeon has his or her own postoperative instructions. In our practice we have a lengthy discussion of the procedure and the postoperative instructions for each component of the Mommy Make Over. Of these 3 components tummy tuck requires the longest recovery. A patient should plan on staying home for 2 weeks after a tummy tuck. After that they can begin to reengage in many day to day activities. Athletic activities which create stress on the abdominal wall should be carefully reintroduced at 8 weeks progressing to 12 weeks. If the abdominoplasty included muscle tightening or in your case a hernia repair more aggressive exercises such as sit ups and abdominal crunches should wait for up to 12 weeks.
After a breast augmentation it is best to restrict raising your arms high above your head for 3 weeks postoperatively. It is also best not to lift more than 10 or 15 pounds for these 3 weeks
These are the postoperative instructions I give my patients. Each doctor however has his or her own postoperative instructions that they expect their patient's to follow. It is very important that you follow your surgeon's postoperative instructions and call if you have any questions.

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 112 reviews

That's a heavy baby!! You would definitely need a full six weeks before the fascia is fully healing following the hernia repair

A hernia can easily recur if you don't take care of the area.  You should also wear a tight binder to give added support to the surgical area for the full 6 weeks.  I usually tell my patients that after 3 weeks you can easily sit on the floor and have your baby come to you so you don't have to worry about lifting.

Leila Kasrai, MD, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Strenuous Activities, Such as Lifting a 20 LB Are Not Allowed for At least 4-6 Wks Following Tummy Tuck & Breast Surgery

Recovery times following mommy makeover surgery vary from patient to patient. It’s important to remember that this is an extensive procedure, that combines cosmetic breast surgery, abdominoplasty and in some cases, liposuction. It may also have additional components such as hernia repair surgery. Because of this, returning to strenuous activity to soon after surgery can potentially have negative consequences.

We generally recommend light activity for the first two weeks following the procedure. Patients are allowed bathroom and kitchen privileges, but encouraged to minimize activity. Light ambulation in a slightly flexed position is encouraged to avoid the formation of lower extremity blood clots. After two weeks, patients are allowed to gradually resume normal non strenuous activities. Strenuous activities such as lifting a twenty pound baby are not allowed for at least four to six weeks. At six weeks, most patients are able to resume all of their normal activities.It’s important to remember that every patient is unique. The specifics of their day to day lives and their procedure will have a significant impact upon their recovery. In some cases, return to normality will occur quickly, while in others who have more demanding lifestyles, it may take longer. In your current situation, having child care assistance will be critical to your recovery.Make sure you discuss this issue with your plastic surgeon. Your surgeon may have important insights which will ultimately help your recovery.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Recovery from several procedures

You will need some help at home following your surgery.  Take care of yourself and let someone else do the heavy lifting.  Be sure to work this in to your lifestyle.  Discuss recovery with your Plastic Surgeon, but most will agree 4 to 6 weeks before resuming normal activity. This is important, so please discuss with your surgeon.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Wait 6 Weeks for Normal Activity following Mommy Makeover

The safest answer would be to wait 5 weeks before resuming normal activities including lifting your 20 pound son. This time period is selected because at 6 weeks there is about 90% wound healing has occurred (wound healing tensile strength).

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Time off after Mommy Makeover Surgery

Thank you for the question.

On average, patients take 4-6 weeks off after this much surgery.  You really want to take it easy after this procedure and have as much help as possible.  Try not to lift for at least 6 weeks.  The longer you "baby" yourself, the better!

Best Wishes!

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Lifting restrictions after tummy tuck

It is not specifically the strict weight of lifting that concerns us but the use of the stomach muscles. I have had one person. who was accustomed to having a bowel movement everyday, strain so intensely that they ruptured the muscle repair.

Our concerns with lifting are related to two features:

1.The potential for bleeding in the first 24 hours and then again between 7-10 days
2.The possibility of rupturing the muscle repair. This can occur anytime for 6 weeks after surgery.
However, the limitations are subject to interpretation and, in my practice, I advise patients to be cautious for 2 weeks. When lifting children, I ask that friends or partners place the child in your lap or that you use your legs and thighs to lift

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.