What Are the Primary Treatments for the Pain That is Experienced Right After a Tummy Tuck?

Doctor Answers (3)

Pain after Tummy Tuck is managed by long acting anesthetic, Narcotic medication, and avoidance of stretching the incision.

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Using a long acting local anesthetic at the time of surgery and providing narcotic medications by mouth are routine methods for minimizing pain following a Tummy Tuck.

Most important in my experience is teaching you how to move, walk, get in and out of bed, and carry out your daily activities without stretching or pulling on your Tummy Tuck Incision. You will find that if you walk slightly bent at your waist, avoid quick motions to stand up straight, that you will minimize your discomfort. You will be taught how to "log roll" in and out of bed and out of a chair and preferably will have someone with you to assist you.

Careful attention to these positioning maneuvers is the most helpful way to control pain as the primary cause of discomfort after Tummy Tuck is postural pulling on the incision, and even an indwelling pain pump will not control pain caused by too much exertion, quick movements, or abruptly standing up straight.

If you rest and avoid quick movements that pull on your incision you will find that after 4-5 days you will be much more comfortable and by two weeks close to normal comfort.


Boston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Treatment of Pain after Tummy Tuck?

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Thank you for the question.

I use a pain pump that administers long lasting thing local anesthesia (as a drip)  for several days after tummy tuck surgery. Also, oral medication including narcotics and muscle relaxants are very helpful. Anti-inflammatories are also supplemented.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 720 reviews

Pain after TT

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The successful treatment of pain after a tummy tuck begins before the first cut is made. Adequate local anesthetic solution, both short and long acting is the key. If your body does not experience the pain, even while you are asleep, than when you wake up the discomfort from surgery will be mild. Next, NSAIDs, either Caldolor or Toradol, can be given intravenously at the very beginning of the case. These medication have been shown to reduce post operative pain and the need for narcotic pain medication. Some surgeons will use post op pain pumps, which I have not found as helpful as others, but certainly offer them. These pumps deliver a small amount of numbing medicine for about three days. After surgery I recommend a regular diet of Ibuprofen. Finally mild narcotics, like Percocet, Tylox or Demerol are used as needed, usually just a few times a day. 

Ronald Schuster, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

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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.