When Can I Go Back To Work After a Tummy Tuck?

By: Dr. J. Timothy Katzen


When it comes to plastic surgery, most patients want to know when they can return to their job or normal routine. Even though every patient heals at their own pace, the short answer for a tummy tuck is about two to three weeks. The recovery time varies by person and depends on certain factors, such as the type of tummy tuck procedure, a person's overall health prior to surgery, and their type of employment. When it comes to tummy tuck recovery, it is always better to play it safe and take as much time as needed. Individuals considering any type of plastic surgery should do their research and learning about the recovery is part of the process.

plastic surgeon, Dr. J. Timothy Katzen, can help men and women in Beverly Hills eliminate that flabby midsection and have a flatter, more fit-looking stomach with a tummy tuck procedure. There are different types of abdominoplasty techniques depending on a patient's specific needs ranging from a mini tummy tuck to an extended tummy tuck. Regardless of which one is needed, the primary goal is to give each person optimal results. Below is a general overview from Dr. Katzen on a tummy tuck recovery process:

Is a tummy tuck major surgery?

A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is considered major surgery. With excess abdominal skin removed, underlying abdominal muscles tightened, a new belly button created and tummy skin redraped, a tummy tuck requires several weeks to heal properly. Liposuction can be combined to optimized tummy tuck results. Long car rides or airplane trips should be post-poned for several weeks after a tummy tuck, patients being active too early or rushing their recovery can have complications like wound breakdown. Most tummy tucks require drains which are usually removed 7-10 days after a tummy tuck. Taking the appropriate time off helps with a smoother tummy tuck recovery.

Factors that can affect recovery after tummy tuck

It is a known fact that patients who are in good health prior to any plastic surgery will generally have a faster, smoother recovery. A tummy tuck surgery is no different. Patients need to maintain a healthy diet and keep a consistent weight before and after their tummy tuck procedure. Some other factors that can affect the length of time for recovery are:

  • Not being at an ideal weight or in poor health before surgery
  • Not smoking which can interfere with the healing process and quitting 4 – 6 weeks before surgery
  • An extended tummy tuck involves a larger incision and broader area, taking more time to heal
  • If liposuction is needed to remove excess fat, it can add to the recovery time
  • If the underlying abdominal muscles need to be addressed or tightened, it will add to the recovery time

When can I return to work?

When Beverly Hills women and men are planning for a tummy tuck procedure, there are other factors to consider when deciding on when to return to work. A person's overall health and fitness is a factor before surgery. Another factor is a person's job responsibilities. If an individual has an office or desk job, they may be able to return to work in 10 – 15 days. If a person has a more physically demanding job requiring them to be on their feet or do any heavy lifting, then a longer recovery period may be necessary. In most cases, patients should plan to take off at least two weeks in order to rest at home properly.

How can I have a smoother tummy tuck recovery?

People considering a tummy tuck should prepare beforehand to help their recovery. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Organize a quiet, stress free recovery space consider books and movies accessible and ready
  • Have a good support system in place to take care of what is needed for at least a few days
  • Pre- plan and make your recovery meals
  • Have your children and pets taken care of
  • If preparing to do work from home, make sure to take at least 3-5 days entirely off
  • Plenty of rest is the key to a speedy recovery
  • Follow all of Dr. Katzen’s post-op instructions
  • Be patient during the recovery process as it takes weeks to feel normal again
  • Remain in constant communication with Dr. Katzen and their staff post-op

Many factors can affect a person's recovery from tummy tuck surgery. For the most part, patients can expect to take two weeks off from work to minimize post-op complications after a tummy tuck procedure. If you are interested in learning more about a tummy tuck, then we invite you to call and schedule a consultation with Dr. J. Timothy Katzen in Beverly Hills, CA.



* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.