Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Tummy Tuck Recovery Time Off Work

Most patients return to work after a tummy tuck within 7-10 days and resume strenuous exercise in about 4-6 weeks. By 3 to 6 months post-op, most patients are enjoying their permanent results.

You may only need to stay in the hospital for a few hours after the surgery, or your surgeon may have you stay for one night or longer. And once you leave the hospital, the real recovery begins. Here’s what you need to know.

Tummy Tuck Recovery Time Off Work

A tummy tuck is a major procedure that requires a significant amount of recovery time. Most patients take between 4 and 6 weeks off from work after undergoing the procedure.

When Can I Return to Work After a Tummy Tuck Procedure?

You’re definitely interested in a tummy tuck procedure – but there’s just one thing holding you back from undergoing the surgery: your work schedule.

Let’s face it: It’s hard enough trying to carve out time for a vacation. Between meetings, projects, and team building, there’s not a work day that goes by where you’re not playing an essential role. And it’s this precise feeling that makes you nervous about taking significant time off work for a tummy tuck procedure.

So with that in mind, when can you return to work after a tummy tuck procedure?

Worst Days After Tummy Tuck

How painful is a tummy tuck recovery?

Like any other surgery, the first week after the tummy tuck is the worst.

What medications should I take after a tummy tuck?

In addition, you should apply topical creams or ointments on the abdomen to minimize the scarring. Remember that taking blood thinners such as aspirin is prohibited after a tummy tuck unless your doctor prescribes it.

Why should I wear a garment after abdominoplasty?

Wearing a compression garment avoids the formation of bumps, scars, and wrinkles on the skin. Also, it reduces swelling and helps contour the body after a tummy tuck.

What are the worst days after a tummy tuck?

According to most patients, the second and third days after the tummy tuck are the worst as the pain peaks. However, you can control the pain by taking your prescribed pain medications.

Why is my stomach not flat after the tummy tuck?

If you have got a tummy tuck in less than six months, you should wait a bit longer for the swelling to go down. It takes almost a year for the actual results of the tummy tuck to appear.

If you’re envisioning needing to take a month off from work, don’t worry – recovering from a tummy tuck procedure is surprisingly quick. Most patients can return to their workplace 10 to 15 days after their surgery. The only exception to this rule is if you have a more manual job than your typical office role. Since you’ll be prevented from lifting significant weight for the first 4 to 6 weeks after your procedure, you’ll need to discuss when you can go back to work with your plastic surgeon.

Keep in mind that even if you go back to work after two weeks, your body will still be in recovery mode. That means no working overtime, no late nights, and intense workouts at your local gym. Take everything one step at a time, as that’s the best approach to making sure you recover fully from your abdominal surgery.

During your initial consultation, your plastic surgeon will outline what you can expect from the recovery process, including key milestones for when you can start reintroducing key activities back into your life. Post-procedure, you’ll have a few follow-up appointments to ensure that your recovery is progressing smoothly.

Tummy Tuck Recovery Stages

Tummy tuck recovery time off work can vary depending on the type of procedure you have and the amount of time you are required to take off. In general, the average tummy tuck recovery time off work is about two weeks.

The exact length of your tummy tuck recovery time off work will depend on whether you have a mini tummy tuck or a full tummy tuck. A mini tummy tuck only requires you to take three days off work, while a full tummy tuck requires you to take up to six weeks off work.

A mini tummy tuck is often done as an outpatient procedure and requires only one night in the hospital to recover from surgery. This means that if you had a mini tummy tuck, your actual recovery time would be about three days long because it would include going home from the hospital on day one and returning for follow-up visits later in the week.

If you had a full tummy tuck as an outpatient procedure, your total recovery time would be between two weeks and four weeks.

You’ll want to figure out a time frame for your recovery so you have ample time to heal and can take a break from certain aspects of your life. Make sure you make the proper arrangements and are fully prepared for your recovery period.

Your drains will be left in for a few days after the surgery. You’ll be shown how to take care of and empty the drains. You’ll likely need to take an antibiotic and an anticoagulant while your drains are in place.

You’ll wear an abdominal binder for about six weeks. This helps to avoid fluid buildup and helps to support your abdomen.

While the recovery period is usually shorter for a mini-tummy tuck, you’ll still need to avoid strenuous activity for at least six weeks. This includes any vigorous exercise or heavy lifting.

What to expect after your surgery

Your surgeon or nurse will properly brief you about how to recover at home.

You will be told:

  • how to care for incisions and drain tubes
  • what to be aware of in terms of infection or overall health
  • what to avoid in terms of physical activity that affects your incision line for six weeks
  • when you need to see your plastic surgeon again
  • how long to wear the abdominal pressure garment
  • how much to rest
  • what you can eat

You’ll need to have someone who can drive you home from the hospital and help take care of you for at least the first few days after your surgery. You can shower 48 hours after you remove your drainage tubes. You may want to take a sponge bath until you can shower. You may be advised to use a chair when showering for some time.

You’ll be prescribed an antibiotic and possibly an anticoagulant. You may be given some type of medication to apply to the skin. Take any pain medication as directed. You shouldn’t take any medicine containing aspirin unless directed by your doctor.

You should also avoid alcohol if you’re taking pain medication, and avoid any form of nicotine for at least six weeks. Smoking can hinder the healing process and may cause complications.

Guidelines for at-home recovery

You may need to sleep on an incline for the first few days after surgery. Keeping your upper body raised slightly with your knees bent at an angle can help reduce swelling. Putting pillows underneath your knees can also reduce pressure on your abdomen. Your doctor will advise you on this.

Keep moving after your surgery, even if it’s only a bit of walking. This will help to keep your blood flowing, which helps with the healing process and decreases the chances of a blood clot in your legs.

Your surgeon will also tell you how to find an optimal resting position that will be most comfortable. Rest as much as possible since you may feel tired for weeks or even months.

It’ll be several weeks before you are fully back to normal. You won’t be able to drive for a few weeks. You’ll also have to limit strenuous exercise and demanding physical activity for four to six weeks. Your doctor can help you decide what activities you can perform and how long you’ll need to take off work.

Possible physical side effects

Most of the intense pain will be in the first few days following surgery. You can take pain medication to control the pain you are likely to experience. You may experience swelling for up to three months after the surgery.

Your tummy may feel like it’s being pulled when you try to stand up straight. You may feel numbness in your tummy for months or even years. It’s normal to have bruises in your abdominal area. You may have fluid-filled swelling above the scar, but this will go away. Your scar may be red and raised, but it will eventually fade.

Tips for recovery

Taking steps to ensure a healthy recovery is important. You’ll want to be as healthy as possible during this time.

Set up a comfortable space where you can relax and have your needs met. Allow yourself to rest fully for at least two weeks and make sure not to push yourself to do anything physically before you’re ready.

You’ll want to drink plenty of water to flush your body of toxins and reduce swelling. Keep your diet as healthy as possible. Include as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible.

Scottsdale Tummy Tuck recommends the following:

  • Take vitamin A and vitamin C supplements.
  • Drink green tea to boost immunity and antioxidant levels.
  • Take a probiotic supplement.
  • Eat pineapple and papaya to reduce bloating and inflammation.
  • Use arnica to reduce swelling, bruising, and pain.
  • Take a staphysagria supplement to heal your incision.
  • Take a phosphorus supplement or drink ginger tea to relieve nausea.

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