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I Am Allergic to Codeine. Any Suggestions for Pain Control After Mommy Makeover?

Doctor Answers (28)

Ultram & Double Strength Tylenol are Great Options


Pain control is extremely important following cosmetic surgery. Patients frequently report allergies to various pain medications and as a result, pain management may require adjustment in the postoperative period.
Most patients who say they are allergic to codeine don’t have a true allergy. They usually have severe nausea, which codeine is notorious for causing.
We typically use a synthetic codeine derivative called Hydrocodone, which has a decreased incidence of nausea compared to codeine.
Examples of prescription Hydrocodone commonly used include Vicodan and Lortab. When these don’t work or patients are allergic to them as well, we use Ultram. We replace narcotic pain relievers with double strength Tylenol as soon as possible following surgery to avoid the potential for drug problems.
Pain tolerance varies from patient to patient and with appropriate care can usually be managed without difficulty. When allergies to pain medications occur, multiple alternatives exist to deal with this problem.

Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Consider using a pain pump for post operative pain control


Alternatives to codeine include oral Demerol and synthetic forms of morphine.  I usually place a pain pump and this greatly decreases post operative pain and discomfort.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Allergic to Codeine Pain Medications


The allergy to codeine in pain medicines is so common that I rarely use these pain medications in my practice.  Artificial codeine, hydrocodone, is more commonly prescribed and used in products like Vicodin and Lortab and these medications are surprisingly effective on many individuals who cannot tolerate codeine but can tolerate hydrocodone.

Even when I have prescribed the hydrocodone medications, I encourage my patients to as quickly as possible to convert to anti-inflammatory medications like Advil, Nuprin and Motrin which are Ibuprofen products and Alleve which is a different anti-inflammatory product.  These medications actually effect the pain problem itself instead of hiding the symptoms in one's brain and have less side effects.

Never forget the use of ice and cold packs to reduce the amount of pain on almost all areas of the body following surgery.

Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Pain medication

I would recommend percocet (oxycodone based) or vicodin (hydrocodone based) - neither of which are codeine narcotics. The best choice of medication depends on the nature of your allergy - best to discuss with your doctor.
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Non-Narcotic Medication following Mommy Makeover

Most of my patients do fine with non-narcostic medications and a pain pump. If you are very concerned about discomfort, you could have your mommy makeover performed in stages rather than all at once. 

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Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

I Am Allergic to Codeine. Any Suggestions for Pain Control After Mommy Makeover?

Thank you for your question.  There are a number or other meds that can be used instead of codeine for post operative pain management.  One of the most effective ways to control the discomfort is to ask for a pain pump.  This is a medical device that we, the surgeon, inserts into the tummy tuck region that trickles Marcaine anesthetic over the undermined region.  It is placed under the skin and infuses at a very slow rate so that when the discomfort is at its greatest, usually the first three days, you will be able to tolerate the discomfort very well.  Also, I have used Celebrex in conjunction with the typical pain meds such as Loratab, Vicodin, and or Percocet.  The Celebrex helps with inflammation, doesn't thin your blood (important post Mommy Makeover), and doesn't cause nausea or vomiting.   It also allows the patient to not use as much of the narcotic pain meds as mentioned above.  Any of the meds above, including Codeine can cause malaise, nausea, vomiting, and especially constipation.  Hope this helps.

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Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Allergy to Codeine and Plastic Surgery

A history of a bad reaction to codeine is not uncommon.  Usually these patients will do fine with a synthetic such as hydrocodone or oxycodone.  With the use of local anesthetics, most patients require much less narcotic.  Just explain your reactions very carefully with your plastic surgeon.
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Pain Control with Mommy Makeover

Mommy Makeover comprises a spectrum of tightening/lifting procedures of the breast and abdomen.
Tummy tuck is often performed to tighten muscles, address fat in the waist, and remove redundant skin and stretch marks. Pain management has evolved an enormous amount. Today with have a medication called Exparel which may be injected into the abdominal wall intraoperatively and this is a slow release numbing medicine that lasts 4-5 days. There is no associated nausea or constipation like we see with narcotics. There is an extra fee, but it's well worth it!

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Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Pain Control After Mommy Makeover!


Alternative analgesics if you're allergic to codeine, you may also be to oxycodone or hydrocodone.  Toradol is an alternative medication which is equally as potent as narcotics like codeine without the side effects from narcotics.  If you are allergic to ASA or ibuprofen, you wont be able to take Toradol as it is in the same class as aspirin/ ibuprofen.

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Medicine after surgery


A pain pump is a big help. Also Nucynta a newer narcotic has less nausea but is expensive. Good luck!

Richmond Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

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.

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