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What are the types of pain medications after a tummy tuck?

Hi! I was wondering what types of medication is available for pain after a tummy tuck? Do I have an option or do my doctors decide?

Doctor Answers 6

Pain management

I'm glad you are thinking about your recovery and pain management.  Depending on your medical history and current medications and allergies, your plastic surgeon will recommend a pain management regimen.   I routinely utilize intraoperative "nerve" blocks using a new FDA approved long acting numbness medicine called Exparel.  I have seen some amazing results for my patients with Exparel where I am seeing many of my tummy tuck patients barely need any narcotic pain meds at all after surgery.   Its best you discuss this with your plastic surgeon during your consultations.  Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
Dr. Basu
Houston, TX

Tummy Tuck- Postoperative pain medicine

The pain medication is decided by your surgeon, based on medical history, drug allergies, etc.  Discuss this with him prior to surgery.  Many time, a muscle relaxer is prescribed also, which seems to help more than pain meds for many patients. Best wishes!

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Tummy Tuck- Postoperative pain medicine

Pain control after tummy tuck surgery generally requires a narcotic medication like hydrocodone and tylenol.  There are many different concentrations available and preference for a type of medication varies by surgeon.  I also use a long acting local anesthetic that provides direct pain relief for several days after surgery.

Steven M. Camp, MD
Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Pain medications after tummy tuck

Narcotics are usually required after a tummy tuck as the pain can be significant. I like to use either Percocet or Dilaudid, both of which are usually very effective. Marcaine pain pumps can be used yet the degree of their  effectiveness is variable.

David A. Bottger, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

What types of pain medicines after tummy tucks.

Each surgeon is different. I use a pain pump that drips novocaine solution into the area automatically for 3 days to lessen the need for narcotic pain medications. I then prescribe either vicodin, or percocet depending on patients experience with one of the medications. Each surgeon has their preference. The pain pump has been very successful. 

Rick Rosen, MD
Norwalk Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

What are the types of pain medications after a 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.

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