Which Prescription Pain Killer for TT with MR?

I'm getting a Full TT with Muscle Repair and umbilical hernia repair. I've given birth to 2 babies, I'm 135 pounds, 5'6'', only weight loss I've had is losing 35-45 pounds after each baby. Anyway, my dr said he will do Exparel during the surgery and that I can pick my post-op pain killer... either Oxy or Percocet is what I think he mentioned. Is there a reason to take one over the other? Side effects to think about?

Doctor Answers 5

Percocet Works Well

Thanks for your question.  Exparel is really helpful with postoperative discomfort but you will some additional pain pills.  Perccet 10/325 is a mixture of a narcotic and Tylenol.  It works well for tummy tucks with muscle repair.

Gordon Telepun, MD
Decatur, Alabama

Pain medications after tummy tuck

That is a great question.  EXPAREL is my favorite for limiting the need for narcotics after abdominoplasty-I have been using it in my patients for the past 3 years- it is a special form of a local anesthetic that is injected at the time of surgery and lasts for several days.  I try and limit narcotic usage as much as possible after abdominoplasty- we work on enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) and also give patients po Tylenol and Celebrex immediately before going to the operating room.  After surgery I have my patients take Ibuprofen.  Patients are surprised to learn that Ibuprofen was tested in women after hysterectomy and worked as well as morphine!. 
Having said that many patients will still need to take some type of narcotic.  I do not prescribe Oxycontin because of the risk of becoming addicted- Percocet is also known as Oxycondone and this is commonly prescribed along with over the counter Ibuprofen.   But every patient is different and I will ask what has worked well for them before.  There are also non narcotic pain relievers like Tramadol for patients that can't tolerate the narcotics.  So trial and error and speak to your doctor.

Jonathan Hall, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

What Pain Medication(s) shall I use AFTER my Tummy Tuck?

Exparel is a GREAT adjunct to a Tummy Tuck and will greatly reduce your need for pain pills. That being said, most surgeons prescribe a Percocet-LIKE agent, should you need it, for after the surgery. You may do well with Tylenol or Celebrex as well without the need for opiates. Since every person perceives pain differently the approach must be customized to you based on your previous experiences.

Dr. Peter A. Aldea
Memphis, TN

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 102 reviews

Which Prescription Pain Killer for TT with MR?

Thank you for your question and congratulations on your upcoming surgery! Exparel will help reduce the amount of prescription pain medication that you will need after surgery, but the choice of medication supplied by the doctor will vary based on any previous experience you have had with a pain medication or based on their experience.   Percocet is a combination of oxycodone and tylenol and is commonly used for postoperative pain relief, while other medications like Vicodin and Dilaudid are also commonly prescribed based on how well you respond to their use.  Hope that this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Pain Medications After Tummy Tuck

Exparel for helping manage your expected post-operative pain is a good starting point but most patients still need some additional medication to keep them comfortable.  Which pain medication would be the best for you is hard to determine.  Everyone reacts to pain medications differently.  What works for one patient may not work well for another.  Most plastic surgeons will start with one medication that they feel addresses the pain requirements for most of their patients and then modify the medications as needed.  OxyContin is very strong and not commonly used for pain management with tummy tucks.

All pain medications have side effects.  Common side effects of Percocet (Oxycodone) are nausea, vomiting, constipation, sleepiness, and "spacey feelings".  Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Norco, etc.) can have similar side effects.  There is a newer generation pain medication, Nucynta (Tapentadol) that has a reported lower rate of nausea, vomiting, constipation, and sleepiness but it is still under patent and therefore no generic version is available and may cost more.

I recommend you ask your plastic surgeon what they find works best for her/his patients and follow that choice.

Good luck with your surgery. 

Herluf G. Lund, Jr, MD
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 68 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.