How much time to take off work for recovery after the tummy tuck
When thinking about undergoing the tummy tuck, many patients are wondering how long they need to take time off work for the recovery period. Generally speaking, the tummy tuck is quite a complex, but at the same time a very delicate procedure that requires a specialist to perform it in the form of an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon.
During the pre-operative consultation, your plastic surgeon will tell you that generally speaking, the break from work should no longer be more than two weeks after a tummy tuck. However, there are details we need to consider before taking this statement as final.
During the first week after the tummy tuck, the patient will experience pain and discomfort, bruising and swelling of the operated areas and even the areas just below the tummy. These side effects that are completely normal start to subside within the second week, and this is when the patients usually start to resume more of their daily activities. During the first week, even simple things such as sleeping, lying in bed or getting off the bed can be more complicated due to the fact that any effort on the abdomen can cause pain and even the incisions to open. Until the incisions are closed, the main purpose is to avoid wound dehiscence as this might trigger infections or other unwanted complications that could prolong the recovery process. During the first week, the recommendation is to rest and allow your body to recover while also taking short walks around the house every few hours to avoid the formation of blood clots.
The second week after the tummy tuck is the time when most patients feel that the pain and discomfort have subsided considerably and they have gotten used to doing things to protect the incision site. During this time, some patients may feel ready to start cooking or going grocery shopping. However, the recommendation is still to avoid standing up longer than necessary and take things gradually.
Starting with the third week, patients can return to work, provided their workplace doesn’t require them to do any intense physical activities. Strenuous physical activities are still to be avoided for at least another few weeks or until the plastic surgeon gives you the green light. Even after their return to work, it is important for patients to take things slowly and not overexert themselves as the body is not yet fully healed from the trauma of the surgery. This means that the patient should still make sure he or she gets enough rest and doesn’t spend all the time standing up as this could cause swelling on the lower parts of the body.
In most cases, the patient can resume work after two weeks from the tummy tuck surgery, in some cases even sooner if only a mini tummy tuck was performed.