After MM 2 Wks Ago Why Do I Wake W/ Extreme Burning in Upper Abs Every Morning?

I had a MM 2 wks ago, TT/BL/BA & umbilical hernia repair. Every morning when I wake up I experience extreme burning in the center of my upper abdomen on both sides close to my ribcage, and it worsens if I stretch. The best way I can think to describe the feeling is that it feels like someone is pushing a branding iron into the area and it last for about an hour after I wake up. Is this normal?

Doctor Answers 5

Totally Normal after Tummy Tuck

Don't be alarmed, your body is just getting used to its new surroundings.  The burning, stretching feeling in your upper abdomen can be related to the tightening of the muscles as well as liposuction in that area.  The reason it hurts in the morning is that you are relatively sedentary when you sleep and then you wake up and start moving.  The tissues of the upper abdomen that are healing and still swollen are being stretched and moved and that causes pain.  These sensations will gradually improve until one day they will be gone...

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Healing and Recovery Following a Mommy Makeover

The Mommy Makeover is a combination of procedures to bring a woman’s body back to the way she looked prior to pregnancy. Most commonly some variation of a #TummyTuck and #BreastSurgery are performed. Additional procedures can include liposuction, umbilical hernia repair.  The most common #breastprocedures include #mastopexy or #breastlift, #breastaugmentation, or #breastreduction.    

Healing after a  #tummytuck will require time. Some patients are out of bed and walking the night of surgery and every hour while awake. I allow my patients to return to work at one to two weeks with 14 days preferred.  However, no lifting or straining.  At three weeks, increased level of activity and full with no restrictions, at 6 weeks. #MummyTummy is a term given to modified tummy tucks which can use liposuction and skin tightening with radiofrequency such Vanquish, Vela3, thermage, thermiRF and others.  The actual fat contouring can be done non-surgically as well with #UltraShape or Cool-Sculpting. Also some severe scars can be treated with re-excision, laser, kenalog/5-FU injections, creams, silicone strips and other methods to reduce and improve healing. Additionally, scar therapy with scar maturation products (e.g. BioCorneum or Embrace) are suggested for managing scars. However, we recommend you wait to use scar improving products until a few weeks following your surgery. 
As I advise my patients, if your work keeps you sedentary, you may return whenever you feel up to it. If your work is strenuous, wait until your work activity does not cause any superficial pain. 
Some employers will modify a person’s job duties so they can back sooner, but without physical activity. Our office can provide our patients with a note stating they are not to engage in strenuous activity for a specified period of time. The note will not disclose what procedure they have underwent. Therefore, you may have to request a similar note from your surgeon if you are not independently employed. I recommend avoiding heavy lifting and strenuous #activity for six weeks following your surgery. With that said, it may help you plan your return to work accordingly.

As for heavy lifting and other #strenuous #activities, it should be avoided for until you have clearance from your surgeon. You may, however, do normal activities at any time if they cause no pain or #discomfort. Let your body tell you what you can or cannot do. Aerobic exercise will raise your blood pressure, which could cause late bleeding and harm your result. Once you begin exercising again, start gently and let your body tell you what it can tolerate. Don’t rush!!  If you have concerns about your healing, or pain that you question to be unusual, it is important to call your plastic surgeon to discuss these further asked to be examined.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Burning in Abs 2 Weeks after Mommy Makeover

   Burning in abdominal muscles 2 weeks after mommy makeover is a reasonable body response to the plication of the abdominal wall.

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Burning Upper Abdominal Area after Mommy Makeover Surgery?

Thank you for the question and congratulations on having undergone the mommy makeover procedures.

 At this stage in your recovery the symptoms that you describe are quite commonly reported. You should find that these symptoms will gradually improve. What would be of concern is if  you continued to have this degree of discomfort that you are describing, longer-term.

 Your plastic surgeon will be in the best position to advise you more precisely.

 Best wishes; hopefully you will be very pleased with the long term outcome of the procedures performed.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Post Operative Burning

Thank you for the question. You are very early on in the healing process. There is a significant amount of swelling and scarring taking place as your body tries to repair itself from the surgery. In the morning your abdominal muscles are tight form the inactivity, however as you begin to move and stretch you are stretching not just the muscles but the scar tissue that has formed. 

As your healing process continues the swelling and the scarring process will abate and you will begin to feel normal again. This is a gradual process that may occur over months. You will notice that there will be more good days than bad as your healing progresses and that the bad days will not be as bad as previous. At some point you will realize that the burning and any other abnormal sensations will have resolved.

I hope this helps. Best of luck.

Pedro M. Soler, Jr., MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 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.