What is appropriate pain med. for Tummy Tuck?

From everything I read about a tummy tuck, the first few days after the surgery can be very painful. A lot of reviewers state that they were given pain patch or an IV that released medication, muscle relaxers & pain pills. However, my surgeon is just prescribing Loritab which really doesn't help pain for me. Is this an appropriate way to handle pain with only Loritab. I'm really scared of the procedure b/c of this.

Doctor Answers 8

Pain Control After Tummy Tuck

When it comes to pain medication, one size definitely does not fit all. All patients respond to medications differently and side effect vary widely from person to person.  I have found that addressing pain before, during and after surgery with medications that work in different ways works well. Anxiety medication before surgery, numbing medication during and after surgery, and a patient-controlled IV narcotic keep most pain scores well under a 4 out of 10.  Be sure and talk to your doctor about alternative medications if you are sure the Lortab does not work for you.


Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 256 reviews

Depends on surgeon

Your surgeon has prescribed this pain medication based on their experience, your surgery, and your body. The type of pain medication prescribed isn’t standardized, so in your surgeon’s experience, Loritab may be sufficient. If you have concerns with this, please discuss directly with your surgeon. They can prescribe something different if necessary.

What is appropriate pain med. for Tummy Tuck

Hello dear, thanks for your post and provided information as well. Every patient react different to each medication.  recommend to ask this to your surgeon, he will know what is better for you. 


Good luck :)

Tania Medina de Garcia, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 358 reviews

Tummy Tuck Revision/Tummy Tuck/Abdominoplasty/Liposuction/High Definition Procedures

I appreciate your question.

I would recommend that you discuss this question with your surgeon as every surgeon has their own respective post op protocol for his/her patients.  Your surgeon is your best resource as he/she is most familiar with your medical history and how you are healing at this time.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.

Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery.

Best of luck!

Dr. Schwartz

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

#RealSelf100Surgeon

Pain meds post-op

Surgeons use different protocols so it really depends upon the individual. There are a lot of different ways to go.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Pain control after tummy tuck

With the ultrasound-guided nerve block we use ("TAP block") with Exparel, most of our patients are very comfortable right after surgery.  The block lasts for about 3 days. The patients will use some oral medications; we typically prescribe something like Percocet or Nucynta (for those who have nausea or allergy issues).

What is appropriate pain med. for Tummy Tuck

Different doctors have different protocols when it come to pain control and medication. Generally you would be prescribed something along the Loritab line, like you said, and then something for anxiety and a possible muscle relaxer. It is always best to stay on top of the pain. Ibuprofen generally works even better than narcotic pain meds and you don't get the goofy side effects. It is always best to discuss potential pain management with your surgeon so that you will know what to expect during your recovery. 

Lawrence Bundrick, MD
Huntsville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

What is appropriate pain management for Tummy Tuck?

Thank you for the question. Good pain control after tummy tuck is very important for many reasons. Besides the important concern of patient comfort, good pain control allows for better/easier deep breathing exercises and ambulation. These measures may lead to decreased incidences of pulmonary complications and/or thromboembolic phenomenon.


These days plastic surgeons have many options when it comes to pain control after tummy tuck surgery. The use of narcotic medication, muscle relaxants, non-narcotics, pain control pumps, and long-lasting local anesthetics have made the postoperative experience much better than in the past. The specific medications used will vary from one practice to another.


In our practice, all patients undergoing, tummy tuck surgery receive a postoperative pain control pump.  Discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon. Best wishes for an outcome that you will be very pleased with.

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.