3 Weeks Long Enough to Recover from Tummy Tuck and Breast Reduction?

I have tummy tank and breast reduction surgery next week. I took only 3 weeks off on my job, I'm a day care teacher. Is it enough?

Doctor Answers 10

Downtime After Tummy Tuck

Thank you for your question.

After a #tummytuck #surgery, #swelling can persist for several months and will gradually improve and will look better at three months, six months, and even one year. Frequently the pubic area can become very swollen and discolored during the first two weeks due to gravity as this is the lowest area for swelling to accumulate.

I suggest waiting 6 weeks before returning to full activity without restrictions.

Use your best judgment based on the activities you usually perform as a day care teacher.
Ask your #BoardCertified #PlasticSurgeon what they recommend.


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Tummy Tuck Recovery

Following the tummy tuck procedure, you should be in a flexed position to minimize tension on the incision sites by to bending at the hips (waist) in order to reduce tension on the newly tightened skin. A recliner chair is perfect for this purpose but a pillow beneath your knees and several at the head of the bed will work well also. Immediately after surgery, within the first few hours, the patients will walk in a slightly bent-over position. During the 6 weeks after surgery, strenuous activity and the lifting of more than ten pounds must be avoided. Many patients are able to return to work and daily activities within 2 weeks of surgery. Softening of the surgical scars, return of sensation, and loosening of the tight sensation may take several months. Abdominoplasty recovery can be in some cases slow and uncomfortable requiring more time for a full recovery. Light activity is comfortable in 10-20 days. Sports will be more comfortable after 6 weeks.

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3 Weeks Long Enough to Recover from Tummy Tuck and Breast Reduction

Each surgeon has his or her own guidelines for postoperative care. Patients generally can return to light activity 7 to 10 post surgery. More strenuous activity can generally begin 2 to 6 months post surgery. As a day care teacher you probably have allotted sufficient time, but be careful how and how much you pick up the children. Consult your surgeon has he or she understands the scope of the surgery and the specifics about you.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Recovery from A Tummy Tuck and Breast Reduction

The vast majority of women can go back to desk jobs in less than three weeks providing there are no complications. You may still be stiff and tire easily for a few weeks but you should be able to resume desk duties. I would not do any significant lifting or engage in exercises until at least 4-5 weeks after these procedures.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

3 weeks off of work after a tummy tuck and breast reduction

Hi there-

Your planned time off should be adequate for most women.

When you do go back to work, it is important that you not lift or strain (as in picking up and carrying children).

When to return to work after mommy makeover

You should feel pretty good after 2 weeks following a tummy tuck and breast reduction, and return to work in 3 weeks is reasonable. However, the time it takes to heal to the point where you can lift and be fully active is 6 weeks, so you will need to limit your activities a bit.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Barring complications three weeks will be adequate

Yes, three weeks should be adequate time for your recovery barring any significant post operative complications. However, I would exercise some caution if the need to lift or carry children under your care arises. If possible, have a coworker perform such tasks until the 6 week point in your recovery.

David A. Ross, MD (retired)
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Tummy tuck and breast reduction

In my opinion I would say 3 weeks is enough time being out.  However, I usually ask my patients to not exercise for 6 weeks.  After the 6 week mark they increase their activity slowly, but are allowed to go to the gym without any restrictions.

Good luck.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Recovery from a tummy tuck and breast reduction

It would normally be that three weeks would be enough time to recover from these surgeries.  When you are back at work you should avoid any heavy lifting and abdominal straining for 8 weeks.

Recovery from Tummy Tuck & Breast Reduction

If you are not required to lift children in the day care center, 3 weeks is probably an adequate period of time to stay away from work.  On the other hand, if your duties require you to lift  the children, you might consider taking an additional week  or so off.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 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.