Advil or Tylenol After Mommy Makeover

I want the swelling to go down. Pain is manageable with OTC stuff. When can I start taking anti swelling stuff to make the swelling go down? I'm 4 days post op. And which one is better?

Doctor Answers 22

Pain medications that work

Many people ask this question and it really depends on where you are in the healing process.  If you are more than about twelve days out you can start taking Advil if that is your preferred pain medications. However in the first couple days any NSAID including Advil may cause an increase in bleeding therefore Tylenol would be the pain medication of choice. But be careful many narcotics have acetaminophen or Tylenol in them and if you are taking both that can be too much Tylenol in you system. The best thing to do is if you are having pain is to contact your doc and the two of you can figure it out together. Hope this helps!

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Pain Meds after Mommy Makeover

Avoid Advil , aspirin, and similar preparations until you are 2 weeks pos op.  These preparations interfere with blood clotting and will increase chance of post op bleeding, always a concern when open spaces exist as they do in breast augs and in tummy tucks.   Tylenol is fine to take any time and does not interfere with clotting.   Stay within guideline doses.  Excessive acetaminophen can harm the liver in large doses.   Good Luck

George Commons, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Avoid Advil for 2 weeks after surgery

There are many medications that increase your risk of bleeding and Advil is onthat list.  Avoid all of these for 2 weeks after surgery to minimize bleeding risks.  Tylenol is okay but doesn't reduce swelling as it is not an anti-inflammatory medication.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Tylenol after Mommy Makeover

Tylenol is the better choice for you in the days following a mommy makeover.  Ibuprofen (Advil) causes you to bruise more easily, especially in the first two weeks following surgery.

David Stoker, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Avoid NSAIDS pre- and post-operatively

Thank you for your question.  For at least 2 weeks before and after your surgery you will want to avoid any NSAID Medication, including Aspirin, Advil, Motrin and/or Ibuprofen.  The reason why surgeons will request that you avoid NSAIDS before and after surgery is that it can thin the blood, interfere with normal clotting and increase your risks for bleeding.  Tylenol or acetaminophen is ok to take after surgery but you should make sure to follow your operating surgeons orders.  Many pain medications prescribed to manage post-op discomfort contain acetaminophen, so please make sure that you are not exceeding the max daily dose of acetaminophen.  Swelling will subside naturally, and staying well hydrated and ambulating frequently should help to promote good circulation and cause the swelling to subside.  Please follow up with your operating surgeon to discuss your concerns and their specific post-op instructions.  Best of luck!

Stephen T. Greenberg, MD
Woodbury Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Avoid Blood Thinners

It is best to avoid Advil, Aspirin, Motrin, and Ibuprofen 2 weeks before and after surgery as these medications interfere with clotting. Tylenol, however, will not have a negative effect. Be sure to always clear these things with the surgeon who performed your procedure.

Jeffrey Weinzweig, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews


Tylenol has less chance of bruising during the first week of surgery then after that probably not much difference and safe to use Ibuprofen for most.. Your plastic surgeon will give you the best answer in your specific case about this and sex. For most of my patients I allow sex to begin at 6 weeks with the woman on top to minimize the risk of trauma. Here are some fo the guidelines I give my patients: Following surgery, you will be walking in a bent-over position to keep tension off the newly tightened skin incision site. Although strenuous activity, and lifting more than ten pounds, must be avoided for 6 weeks, some people can return to work and daily activities as soon as 2 weeks after surgery. Softening of the surgical scars, return of sensation, and loosening of the tight sensation may take several months to a year or more.
Abdominoplasty involves a recovery period of 10 to 14 days longer than most plastic surgical procedures. Initial discomfort and decreased mobility is typical. To decrease this discomfort, we offer a long acting local anesthetic. This numbing injection solution (Exparel) which lasts for 3-4 days allows for an easier recovery and is preferable to older pain pump technology.
3-5 days or more of assistance at home is usually indicated. 
You will be encouraged to move and walk regularly starting the day of surgery. Wearing your TED stockings at all times, except while washing, to prevent venous clots (deep vein thrombosis) is mandatory.
Light activity is comfortable in 10-20 days. No sports or heavy lifting for 6 weeks or more – please discuss with your doctor for specific questions.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Tylenol is generally better

Advil is not recommended as it can thin the blood and greatly increase the risk of bleeding and bruising. Tylenol can be taken safely. However, it's always best to ask your surgeon for their advice, as it may be different.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Swelling after mommy makeover

Please be patient - your swelling will resolve over the next weeks to months. You will likely see a dramatic decrease in swelling over the next week. Unfortunately, neither advil nor tylenol will make a significant difference. Advil, however, increases your risk of bleeding and you should check with your surgeon before taking advil or similar medications (alleve, ibuprofen, naproxen, etc). Sometimes compression with an abdominal binder or girdle can help - see your surgeon for specific recommendations. Best wishes.

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Advil & Tylenol Post Mommy Makeover Surgery

It’s normal for mommy makeover patients to have significant swelling following this procedure. Neither Tylenol nor Advil will reduce post-operative swelling, but are instead used for pain relief.


         Advil is a non steroidal anti-inflammatory agent and shouldn’t be used for ten days following surgery. This drug along with aspirin, ibuprofen, Motrin, naprosyn and aleve can cause post-operative bleeding.


         Tylenol can be used following surgery and does not cause post-operative bleeding. Once patients are no longer taking narcotics, Tylenol is an excellent option. It’s important that pain management be discussed with your surgeon. Excessive pain may be an indicator of more severe problems.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 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.