Which is More Painful Between Breast Augmentation and Tummy Tuck?

I am 5'6" ,128 lbs, and 26. I had a breast aug 4 years ago (sub muscular) and I am having a tummy tuck in a week. Which one is more painful. Im trying to prepare myself for the amount of pain.

Doctor Answers 15

The tummy tuck has more discomfort

In my opinion, the tummy tuck has more discomfort and takes a bit longer to recover from. This is usually due to the tightening of the muscles that needs to be done in order to achieve a flat abdomen. That being said, after the initial 7-10 days, patients are feeling a lot better and more like themselves. I think the breast augmentation patients tend to feel better a lot quicker (3-5 days or so).

Good luck with your procedure!

Dr. Salemy

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 122 reviews

Tummy tuck discomfort

Patients tell me that the tummy tuck causes more discomfort than the breast augmentation. If a scale is used from 0-10, where 10 is the worst pain. Breast augmentation patients tell me 5 or 6 for few days and a tummy tuck is 7 or 8 for a few days.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

You really should not have "pain"

With either procedure, you really should not have "pain." You will have discomfort, but pain should be adequately controlled with pain medications. With breast augmentation you there is discomfort from stretching the skin and muscles. With abdominoplasty, there is discomfort from tightness. However, this really should not preclude you from having the surgery. Good luck with your procedure.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Do you really want to know?

Pain is a relative term. I have talked to many woman who have experienced exquisite pain during childbirth - yet is was all tolerable when the baby arrived.

Think of your tummy tuck in the same way - a little pain for a great body! But if that doesn't help - tummy tuck hurts more! Good Luck!

Robert M. Freund, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Tummy Tuck or Breast Augmentation Pain

I have done each separately and many combined. Each individual is unique and some have felt the breasts were worse while others complained more about the abdomen. I would advise that you ask for a pain pump if your surgeon can provide this. The anesthetic can help ease the discomfort of muscle spasm for the first few days. I also would advise the use of a muscle relaxing agent such as valium or flexeril if you surgeon concurs.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Tummy Tuck and Breast Augmentation - Minimal Pain with Exparel

My short answer is that neither procedures have to be particularly painful with the availability of Exparel, a long acting local anesthetic lasting at least 3 days in my experience. Both of the procedures can be done at once with a fraction of the discomfort. Exparel is injected during surgery in all areas of your surgery. This has made a huge difference in my practice. See my below link for more information

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Tummy Tuck usually is a tougher recovery

When I have combined both together patients usually don't feel the breast augmentation pain and only notice the tummy tuck. Also that is way I advise patients to expect it takes 1 week to recovery from breast augmentation (back to work) and 2 weeks for tummy tuck recovery.

Robert B. Pollack, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Pain from Breast Augmentation and Tummy Tuck are different


The pain from each is different. The tummy tuck pain tends to be more annoying which is one of the reasons to consider a pain pump placement at the time of a tummy tuck. Breast implants pain is more like pressure unless you go really large on the implant sizing.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

6 of one...

I have done tons of both. I tell my patients that both of these procedures hurt like hell. Some patients tell me the breast is worse, and some say that the tummy is worse. It is probably a wash. Expect to have pain, but your surgeon should give you plenty of pain pills to help.

Both are actually very tolerable


Our patients experience different levels of pain, but there is no absolute answer to your question. About 5 years ago, we began using more local anesthetic in the tummy tuck (even injecting some of the muscle after the repair). We have had significantly less pain and every single patient goes home that day. Pain with a tummy tuck has not been a significant issue and that is why I hesitate to assign it a more painful grade than breast augmentation.

As you know pain varies by individual. We have patients who tell us that having breast augmentation is hardly painful, but there is the occasional patient who still needs pain medication 10 days after surgery.

We have also done both breast augmentation and tummy tuck together as an outpatient. It is not for every one, but with the right patient it can be done.

So if you already had a breast augmentation, I do not think that the tummy tuck will be drastically different. Good luck next week!

Francisco Canales, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 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.