When Will I Be Able to Stand Up Straight?

I'm 5 days post op, I also had breast augmentation.My drains were pulled at 3 days, and I stopped all pain meds at 2 days. Im a pretty tough gal. I'm the mom to 4 so it comes with the territory:) all and all feeling great. I just want to know when I can expect to be standing straight? This bent over situation is killing my back:( Are there any techniques I can do to help? Also related to numbness are there any known theories to help aid in regeneration of the cells? Like ice, message, etc?

Doctor Answers 4

When to stand straight after a tummy tuck

Hi - I hope your recovery is going well. I usually don't have my patients stand up straight until a week after surgery if they've had a tummy tuck. Some of my patients have battled the back pain by using a cane or a walker. These can be easily purchased at drug stores, online, or potentially borrowed by cane-wielding relatives or friends. Sleeping in a recliner or in bed with two pillows under your head and  one or two under your knees to stay bent at the waist can also take the strain off of your back muscles. A muscle relaxant such as flexeril can help at times too. Regarding your numbness, are you referring to the numbness around your breast incisions or around your lower abdomen/incision area? It is normal to be numb here, and there is not much that can be done early on to speed up nerve recovery. You may always have some residual numbness around your incisions. Sometimes around 2 weeks post-op patients will report a "shooting" or brief stinging/itching sensation around their incisions - this is usually a sign that some of the nerves in your skin are growing/waking up again. 

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Recovering from a Mommy Makeover & Returning to Activity

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. 
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

When Will I Be Able to Stand Up Straight?

By five days I usually have my patients work on standing erect. This can be tough if you are using only your stressed back muscles. 

More effective is to lean against a wall back flat on the wall, and use your legs to straighten up--all while holding on to a table or counter. A few of these several times a day will help break the spasm or tension in your back and core muscles. 

All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Stand up straight varies from one patient to another

Patients have to be bent for the period of time recommended by their plastic surgeon. I generally tell my patients to stand up straight 4-5 days after surgery but this period of time can vary from one patient to another. You can also have massages to get better soon and solve numbness; this will disappear as you heal from your surgery. You describe yourself as a strong woman and I don’t doubt it but before doing anything please ask your plastic surgeon. Best Wishes!

Australia Fragoso-Baez, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 425 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.