How Soon Can I Go Back to Work After a Tummy Tuck?

Deciding to undergo a tummy tuck can be an empowering choice, as it has the potential to boost your confidence and improve your body’s shape. At NuBody Concepts, we wholeheartedly support your decision and are dedicated to guiding you through every stage of the process. At our advanced facilities in Nashville and Memphis, our medical teams provide a range of cosmetic procedures, including tummy tucks and liposuction, tailored to help you achieve your desired appearance. 

Before you dive into this procedure, however, you’re bound to have many questions, especially regarding how a tummy tuck may affect your day-to-day life. A common concern among our patients is the timeline for returning to work after a tummy tuck. Let’s delve into the recovery process to provide a comprehensive understanding of what to anticipate and how to plan effectively.

How Soon Can I Go Back to Work After a Tummy Tuck?

The first few days after tummy tuck surgery are essential to your overall recovery. Following the procedure, your abdomen will be carefully bandaged, and you will be provided with a compression garment to reduce swelling, prevent blood clots, and facilitate the shaping of your abdomen. It’s important to arrange for a friend or family member to drive you home and provide assistance during this initial phase.

During the first week, you should prioritize rest and avoid activities that elevate your heart rate. You may experience soreness, bruising, and swelling, but adhering to your prescribed medication regimen will help manage discomfort. Walking around the house, we recommend you move carefully and stay flexed to avoid straining your abdominal muscles.

Week 1: Managing Discomfort and Care

As you recover during the first week after your surgery, focus on actively managing any discomfort and minimizing the risk of complications. It’s important to delegate household chores and childcare to ensure you can rest properly. You’ll want to listen closely to your plastic surgeon’s guidance on medication, bandage changes, and drain care. Ensuring you stay hydrated and consume nourishing foods will also support your body’s healing process.

Toward the end of the first week, many patients experience improved mobility. However, maintaining an upright posture may still be challenging. Remember that meticulously adhering to all post-operative care instructions is vital for achieving the best possible outcome.

Week 2: Gradual Improvement

During the second week, you will notice a gradual improvement in your comfort and mobility. Swelling and bruising will begin to subside, though they may not completely disappear. Light activities and short walks are encouraged to promote circulation and healing. You might feel ready to return to work if your job is not physically demanding. Still, you’ll want to avoid strenuous activities to support your healing process.

Attending your follow-up appointment is crucial during this period. Your plastic surgeon will review your progress, remove any remaining stitches if necessary, and provide further guidance on your recovery. At NuBody Concepts, our experienced team ensures you receive the best care and support throughout your journey.

Week 3: Returning to Routine Activities

As the third week approaches, many patients experience significant improvements in their recovery. With your plastic surgeon’s approval, you can incorporate light exercises such as gentle stretching and walking into your routine. You’ll want to continue avoiding activities that strain your abdominal muscles, such as heavy lifting or intense workouts.

While swelling may still occur intermittently, wearing compression garments like Spanx can effectively manage it. Most patients can comfortably return to work at this stage unless their job involves strenuous physical activity. If you have a physically demanding job, allowing for additional recovery time may be necessary to support your full recovery.

After Six Weeks: Embracing Your New Look

Most patients have fully recovered by the six-week mark. Pending your plastic surgeon’s approval, this is when you can resume all types of exercise and strenuous activities. The results of your tummy tuck will be more evident as the swelling continues to diminish, and you’ll start to enjoy your new contour.

At NuBody Concepts, we take pride in the positive feedback from our patients. One recent review highlights the transformation:

I couldn’t be happier with my results, and I’m only five weeks post-op! I received a tummy tuck with liposuction after having three c-sections. Dr. R and staff were all great. They answered my questions, were very thorough, and made me feel welcome. I recommend giving them a try if you’re looking to have body contouring done. Due to the extent of the procedure, the swelling is still going down daily. I was able to see significant results immediately after the surgery. I’m loving my new body!”

— Amy M, NuBody Concepts tummy tuck patient (5/19/2024)

Tips for a Smooth Recovery

Most patients want to expedite the recovery process to continue with their lives and responsibilities. To ensure a successful and effective recovery after tummy tuck surgery, follow these tips:

  1. Adhere to Post-Op Instructions: Embrace and diligently follow all the post-operative instructions provided by your plastic surgeon, including medication, bandage changes, and activity restrictions. This constructive approach will contribute to your overall healing.
  2. Stay Hydrated and Eat Well: Post-surgery, it is important to stay hydrated and consume foods that aid healing. For hydration, drink plenty of water, including herbal teas or clear broths. Focus on consuming foods rich in protein, such as lean meats, fish, eggs, and dairy, as well as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These foods can provide essential nutrients and promote the healing process.
  3. Avoid Strenuous Activities: Gradually reintroduce activities and consciously avoid anything that may strain your abdominal muscles, allowing for a constructive and unhindered healing process.
  4. Attend Follow-Up Appointments: Be mindful to attend regular follow-up appointments with your plastic surgeon to monitor your progress and address any concerns as part of your recovery journey.
  5. Wear Compression Garments: Use compression garments as part of your constructive approach to reduce swelling and support your new contour, aiding your overall recovery process.

Explore Tummy Tuck Options at NuBody Concepts

Deciding to undergo a tummy tuck is a significant step toward achieving your desired body shape. At NuBody Concepts, our board-certified plastic surgeons address any concerns you have about your recovery and provide optimal care so you can get back to your daily routine. Our experienced team is here to support you at every stage of the process, ensuring a smooth recovery and outstanding results.

If you’re considering a tummy tuck in Nashville or Memphis, schedule a consultation today. Check out our before and after photos, and take the empowering first step toward a new you with NuBody Concepts. Contact us today to explore our tummy tuck and liposuction options. Let us help you achieve the body you’ve always dreamed of.


Each patient is unique. What your treatment will look like is determined by you and the plastic surgeon who you will meet with in a personal consultation.