How long does it take to recover from a Tummy Tuck or Liposuction?
Recovery from Tummy Tuck or Liposuction
This requires two different answers, as the two procedures are quite different. Abdominoplasty takes the longest. Most people remain stooped over for most of a week and do not return to normal activities for 1-2 weeks. It usually takes 1-2 months, however, until you can do everything you did preoperatively without feeling tired, as your body is using significant energy to heal you during this time. Even if you could return to activities faster, you should not in order to reduce problems. With Liposuction of only one or two areas (such as the abdomen and flanks), recovery is usually quite rapid, within several days. More extensive liposuction extends recovery.
Recovery from a tummy tuck and liposuction varies depending upon what type of tummy tuck is performed and which areas the liposuction is done.
Also, it depends on what you mean by recovery. For sedentary work, the recovery will be more rapid than for jobs requiring bending and lifting.
Generally speaking, it can vary from 5 days to two or more weeks depending on these and other factors.
It is best to see a board certified plastic surgeon for a consultation, so that you can be examined and your options discussed accordingly.
Most patients return to work in 2 weeks. Other activity like major exercise will need healing times of 6 weeks. There is some variation from patient to patient, so these numbers are "ball park."
Recovery times vary from person to person, but in general, small volume liposuction takes a long-weekend to recover. When liposuction is done awake (such as in laser lipo), the recovery can be shorter.
I have had patients who have gone back to work (desk job) the next day after small volume awake laser liposuction. Others can take a week to fully feel like themselves and return to work.
Tummy-tucks take longer - typically 7-10 days. It is important to allocate the right time to get the best results from your procedure.
A tummy tuck recovery is longer than liposuction in my practice. My patients are allowed limited activity like driving their cars within five days, and full activity within about three weeks. With my liposuction patients, there is almost no restriction. The patients usually feel tired and are sore, which limits what they can do. To prevent any more bruising from occurring, I do not want them exercising for about ten days.
In for Tummy Tuck general you need to be ambulatory from day one. By the second week you will be comfortable, and by the end of the third week you can be active. Most patients can go back to work by the second week with no heavy activity. Back in the gym in 4-6 weeks.
Liposuction recovery depend on the volume and number of areas. But count on two weeks.
Usually recovery takes 10-14 days and you can resume most activities in 3-4 weeks. This is an operative procedure that if you have muscle tightening or plication of the rectis then the recovery may be somewhat longer. This operative procedure has some early post op discomfort and you may be flexed temporarily for 3-5 days during the recovery.
How long does it take to recover from a tummy tuck or liposuction?
Recovery times are variable from patient to patient and they depend on the extent of the procedure. Small areas of liposuction may take only a weekend to recover, while suction of multiple areas and larger volumes may take 1-2 weeks.
Tummy tuck recovery also depends on the extent of the procedure. A modified tummy tuck has a shorter recovery time than a full abdominoplasty plus liposuction, which usually takes about two weeks to resume sedentary work and 3-4 weeks to return to other activities like exercise.
Robert Singer, MD, FACS