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

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Non-Narcotic Medication following Mommy Makeover

Most of my patients do fine with non-narcotic medications and Exparel and / or a pain pump. The surgical technique used, anesthesia administered, and intra-operative pain control all will make a significant difference in your comfort during recovery from a mommy makeover. It is also my preference that mommy makeover patients stay overnight with roind the clock medical care the night of surgery. Not every surgeon feels this way, but I beleive patients and their families feel more comfortable and have more peace of mind in tis scenario.  If you are very concerned about discomfort, you could have your mommy makeover performed in stages rather than all at once. Discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon, and speak to other patients about their experience to determine what makes most sense for you.

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

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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.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

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.

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.

John K. Long, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Allergic to codeine, considering Mommy makeover

I recommend that patients allergic to codeine consider the use of a pain pump or injected Exparel( a slowly released local anesthetic).  In addition to this, patients allergic to codeine are often able to take other narcotics such as oral Demerol or hydrocodone, or non-narcotics such as Toradol

John Zavell, MD, FACS
Toledo Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Pain after Mommy Makeover

The discomfort after mommy makeover procedures is often less than expected if the surgeon follows a few simple guidelines. Treatment with non-opioid pain medications at the start of the procedure as well as the use of local anesthetic can prevent activation of some pain mediated pathways. This limits the amount of anesthesia and pain medication required as well as decreases the discomfort and recovery after your procedure.

Exparel has become a wonderful addition to procedures in appropriate patients and can provide some degree of pain relief for up to 72 hours if used at the time of the procedure.

There are many non-opioid alternatives to codeine and your plastic surgeon can evaluate your particular allergy and make recommendations.

As with any procedure there will be some discomfort after a mommy makeover, however, with appropriate steps this can be dramatically improved.

Pain Control After Mommy Makeover

Thanks for your inquiry.  There are many options for pain control after a mommy makeover.  In addition to narcotics other than codeine (Percocet, Tramacet, Dilaudid) there are several effective non-narcotic pain medications (Toradol, Celebrex, etc.).  Many plastic surgeons use nerve blocks during surgery or insert pain pumps after surgery.  This is an important question to discuss during your consultation.

Pain relief after tummy tuck

There are many codeine alternatives that are suitable for a tummy tuck procedure.  Once you speak to your surgeon, I am sure you can be prescribed an alternative medicine. 


Dr. Karamanoukian 

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

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

I am using a long acting local anesthesia that is applied at the end of the operative procedure and will keep the patient pain free for 3 days. Also, during the operation under general anesthesia the tumescent process prior to excision and dissection limits swelling and therefore keeps the pain low. This combination of techniques could then be augmented with a non narcotic oral pain medication.

Codeine Allergy

It is important to discuss your allergy with your treating plastic surgeon. There are several alternatives to codeine available. Also, be sure to describe what your reaction was to your plastic surgeon, as oftentimes patients mistake side effects (such as nausea) for an allergy.

I'm sure he or she will find an adequate alternative - good luck!

Bryan Correa, MD
The Woodlands Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 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.