How Severe is the Pain After a Mommy Makeover?

I am asking the questions because I've seen lots of complaints the pain after surgery for a mommy makeover is really painful? And pardon my French but they sound like they been to hell and back. I have a very high tolerance pain level and even when in pain usually don't complain and suck it up. So should I truly be concern with the pain level according to some reviews?

Doctor Answers (16)

Pain Following Mommy Makeover: What to Expect in the Recovery Period

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            The mommy makeover is one of the largest procedures performed in cosmetic surgery. This procedure has several components. These include breast augmentation, breast lift, abdominoplasty, and liposuction of the hips and thighs. The exact procedure performed in any particular case is dependent upon the specific needs of the individual patient.

             Pain tolerance varies from patient to patient and is dependent upon a variety of factors. The vast majority of patients who have mommy makeover surgery describe their pain as moderate. This pain is especially noticeable in the first 24 hours following surgery, but improves rapidly over the next week.

            Patients are given narcotic pain relievers in the immediate postoperative period and switched to Tylenol 5 to 7 days postoperatively. It’s not unusual for patients to have pain, which is related to muscle spasm following this procedure. When this situation arises, muscle relaxants are extremely helpful as well.

            If you’re concerned about postoperative pain management, it’s important to discuss this issue with your plastic surgeon. Your surgeon should be able to develop a plan that addresses your concerns. 


Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

Mommy Makeover Recovery

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It is very common for mommy makeovers to include both breast and tummy procedures.   Your surgeon will determine if you are  a good candidate for a combined procedure based on your health status (past medical history) and your physicial exam.   In addition, your surgeon will determine if an overnight stay at the hospital is warranted.   After surgery, your pain should be well managed with 1-2 oral pain pills every 4-6 hours.   All my mommy makeover patients are ambulating a few hours after surgery (of course walking flexed at their waist given the tummy tuck).   Most surgeons will likely recommend no heavy lifting or strenuous activity for 5-6 weeks.   So you will definitely need some help with the kids for about 1-2 weeks.   Every surgical plan is unique/different so I encourage you to direct these questions to your surgeon and his staff.   Mommy Makeovers are truly transforming procedures.  I'm sure you'll love your results.

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 115 reviews

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Pain after a Mommy Makeover is Highly Variable

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Hi there-

There are so many variables that affect the level of pain experienced by any particular patient after a Mommy Makeover, that it is very difficult to answer this question for you...

Your own individual capacity to tolerate pain, the details of the procedures performed, your surgeon's preferences and techniques for the minimization of pain during and after surgery, your adherence to postoperative protocols and instructions will all affect the duration and severity of your pain.

Your best bet is to discuss what you should expect with your surgeon- who is the only one with an understanding of (at least most of) the variables above in your particular situation.

Best of luck!

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

How Severe is the Pain After a Mommy Makeover?

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Pain felt after any surgery will vary from patient to patient. At times on websites, you hear about the people that are having pain but the ones that do not are not on the blogs posting things so the percentage might look skewed. In my experience, the pain is well controlled with pain medicine and proper activity levels. By 2 weeks the needs for pain pills should be essentially gone.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Pain after a mommy makeover

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There are a lot of factors that determine the amount of pain that you are in after a mommy makeover. Tummy tucks and breast augmentations are typically more painful because they generally involve surgery on muscles. Liposuction and breast lifts do not tend to be very painful. Your ability to handle pain can make a huge difference. I find that patients who exercise regularly have less pain after surgery than those who don't. I also like to inject dilute local anesthetic at the time of surgery which can dramatically cut down on your pain for the first several hours after surgery.

James McMahan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Pain after Mommy Makeover is much less than most expect

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The mommy makeover typically consists of abdominoplasty, breast lift and occasionally breast augmentation and liposuction. The way we do the surgery now, the pain is very manageable. We inject local anesthesia around the nerves at the time of surgery and also use a pain pump for the abdominoplasty. I have had several patients who have used pain pills for less than 2 days and have been very comfortable with just Tylenol and Advil. Most people are driving and doing errands by 5-7 days.

John Squires, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Pain and expectation after mommy makeover

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If your pain tolerance is high then you will likely do better than others. Pain is variable and depends on patient tolerance and how involved/extensive the surgery is.  For instance, a breast lift usually hurts less than a breast lift with implants.  If you are very concerned about the discomfort that you may feel, ask your surgeon about the possibility of pain pump catheters. i find these very helpful, especially for the tummy tuck portion of the mommy makeover.  I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Pain after mommy make-over

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Mommy make-over surgery, which generally involves breast surgery  of some type and body contouring surgery, can be quite painful. There are variables that can affect how much pain a patient experiences, such as muscle plication work on the abdomen or putting implants under the pectoralis muscle in breast surgery. Additionally, each patient responds at different levels of pain for these procedures. In my practice, I use a pain pump to help alleviate pain from tummy tuck surgery. This is a device the bathes the abdominal muscle in numbing medicine for the first 3 days after surgery. Overall, I prefer that my mommy make-over patients prepare for 2 weeks of recovery where pain can be moderate, even severe in a few patients. After that period, the pain is much less and patients then feel like they are getting back to 'normal'.

Antonio Gayoso, MD
Saint Petersburg Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Pain is very subjective after tummy tuck

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most women do well after the first week and start their routing.  most return to work by 2 weeks

pain can be lessened with:

  • pain pump for  3 days
  • injections of marcaine at surgery sites after surgery
  • medrol dospak
  • celebrex
  • early ambulation and actiivity
  • muscle relaxant

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 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.