Ask a doctor

Tummy Tuck and Liposuction Pain

I had a Spinal Fusion surgery in 2006. I'll be having Tummy Tuck and Liposuction on my back hip area, and I'd like to know, will the pain be most likely worse than what I experienced with Spinal Fusion?

Doctor Answers (3)

Subjective subject

+2

Pain is a very subjective emotion, even from procedure to procedure.  Pain control medications are very effective and I would expect that your tummy tuck and liposuction would be less painful than a spinal fusion.


Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Pain of a different character

+2

Hi there-

Individual patients seem to experience postop pain differently, and tummy tuck techniques vary as well, and so it is difficult to be firm in an answer to your question- you know your pain tolerance better than I could- but in general, I believe the following could be stated:

The pain from tummy tuck and liposuction will probably not be as severe as the bone pain you probably felt with your spinal fusion. Most patients experience a tight, crampy muscular pain that causes them to walk a bit bent over for a few days after surgery, and that hurts with movement of the torso. Patients who have had c-sections usually say it feels "like the c-section, but not as bad".

Having said that, I am a bit concerned that if you still have any back pain at all, this may be worsened for some time after your surgery. This happens because after the tummy tuck, you will be guarding and protecting the stomach muscles, causing the core muscles of your back to do more work to stabilize your torso, which leads to soreness here.

This, combined with the pain that sometimes results in the back from a few days of walking bent over, and any baseline pain you may have in your back, is something that I would definitely want you to be prepared for.

If you do still have back pain, talk to your surgeon and make sure you are both prepared to deal with this until it gets better- it would probably simply mean you need additional or different pain medication.

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

Pain after a Tummy Tuck

+1

Pain is a very subjective thing. I couldn't give you an idea how it compares to spinal fusion because I am not sure what type of pain that is. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the worst, tummy tucks and submuscular breast augs are probably the highest on average being about a 7 or 8.

Usually, patients feel pretty crappy for the first few days, but by the end of 1 week, they start feeling pretty normal. Many of my patients tell me that it wasn't so bad, but I would rather oversell the pain then have them come back and tell me that it was worse than I told them. I think that after they see how great they look they forget about the pain. I suppose it is similar to childbirth in that respect!

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 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.