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What Medications Would I Take After Tummy Tuck?

What kinds of pain and/or antibiotics will I be on after my Tummy Tuck surgery? How long will I be on medication and does it vary for each surgeon/patient?

Doctor Answers 9

95% of tummy tuck patients do not take pain meds

Every surgeon, every patient, and every tummy tuck operation is different. However, in my practice the use of "long acting local anesthesia" has minimized the need for pain medicine such that only 5% of my patients take a prescription pill for 1 to 3 days.

The majority of the patients will take a muscle relaxant (Valium) with or w/o Tylenol as an alternative to pain medicine and I have found that this works well. The main disadvantage of pain meds is that they can make you nauseated and constipated.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Medications following abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) surgery

Each plastic surgeon has his/her recommendations for postoperative care, and medications following an abdominoplasty. I usually prescribe an oral narcotic (for pain) for 7-10 days following surgery. I then ask my patients to try and transition over to a non narcotic at that point (ex. motrin). I will also ask my patients to take a laxative while taking a narcotic (to help avoid constipation). I will also give patients a prescription for anti nausea medication. I do not give my patients antibiotics to take following surgery. They do however, receive an antibiotic prior to their surgery.

David A. Robinson, MD
Munster Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Postoperative Regimen for Tummy Tuck

Every plastic surgeon has their own postoperative regimen and it just depends.  I generally prescribe percocet (which is a pain reliever), flexeril (which is a muscle relaxant), and antibiotics.

Most patients need pain medication for about the first 5-7 days after the surgery.

Good luck.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Medication after Tummy Tuck

Most patients will take pain medication for 7-14 days after a tummy tuck. I also use antibiotics for 3 days and sometimes a muscle relaxant. If I have tightened the muscles or have done anything else at the same time as the tummy tuck, I will also pu patients on a blood thinner to reduce the risk of blood clots in the legs.

John P. Stratis, MD
Harrisburg Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Recovery after Abdominoplasty

Every surgeon has his or her own protocol. In most cases, you will be on an oral antibiotic for 5 to 7 days and on pain medications as needed. We like to transition our patients to non-narcotic pain medications as soon as possible. However, making sure that you are comfortable is our #1 priority. I also like to prescribe a muscle relaxer to my patients. I feel this helps relieve some of the tension from the surgery and helps the patient feel more relaxed in the immediate post-operative period. I hope this is helpful.

Good luck with your surgery.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

What Medications Would I Take After Tummy Tuck?

Thank you for the question. Good pain control after tummy tuck is very important for many reasons. Besides the important concern of patient comfort, good pain control allows for better/easier deep breathing exercises and ambulation. These measures may lead to decreased incidences of pulmonary complications and/or thromboembolic phenomenon.

These days plastic surgeons have many options when it comes to pain control after tummy tuck surgery. The use of narcotic medication, muscle relaxants, non-narcotics, pain control pumps, and long-lasting local anesthetics have made the postoperative experience much better than in the past. The specific medications used will vary from one practice to another.

In our practice, all patients undergoing, tummy tuck surgery receive a postoperative pain control pump. I have yet to have a patient complain of the "hassle" factor. In my opinion, there is no demonstrable difference between the use of local anesthesia provided through a pain pump versus long lasting injectable anesthetics. There are certainly no objective studies that demonstrate the superiority of one over the other. Best wishes.

Post-Tummy Tuck Medications

There are no standard medications given after any procedure.  These are determined by each individual surgeon.  Usually I give a single dose of antibiotics prior to surgery.  Post-op my usual medications are a muscle relaxant (if muscle plication is performed) and a narcotic pain medication.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Medication after a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)

Regimens vary tremendously based on the technique, surgeon's preference and with attention to patient drug sensitivities/allergies.

Typically most surgeons will use a narcotic analgesic. Many use an antibiotic. Some use a muscle relaxant if muscle tightening surgery is contemplated. Anti-nausea medications are made available. Use of anti-inflammatories are more controversial.

Those are the basic medications but there are alot of differences in medication regimens.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Each surgeon will have his own recommendations for pain medicine and antibiotics

Each abdominoplasty surgeon will have his own recommendations for pain medications and antibiotics after a tummy tuck and it is best to discuss these with the surgeon you choose to perform your surgery.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.