Tummy tuck pain level?

Hi everyone, I'm 29, mother of two. I have belly fat and extra saggy skin that have been bothering since my first child born. Now I want to get a full tummy tuck but after researching I'm pretty scared about painful. Is it that pain as c-section? ( I got 2 c-section) and how long It take to recover ( I plan to get it done by mid Feb,2017 and will go to a friend's wedding in the end of March) . And I don't want to have drains on my tummy. Is there any possible way to do it?

Doctor Answers 7

Pain with abdominoplasty

Strategically placed pain catheters and a pain pump can greatly reduce pain from this surgery.  Exparel, an injectable drug for long term pain relief is used by some surgeons,but in my experience the pain pump is definitely the way to go. We generally place the catheters in what is referred to as a TAP plane not just placed under the skin. Regional anesthesia (epidural) in lieu of general anesthesia blocks the pain fibers during the surgery which is also beneficial. Additionally, we have found a pre-operative bowel prep, while not fun, reduces post-operative bloating and constipation issues. Early walking and moving is also critical for a faster and safer outcome.

San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Tummy tuck & Pain

Most patients who have had a C-section and a tummy tuck say that the pain level is about equal. The few days are tough, but by 6 weeks post op, you should be out of pain. However, you may still be swollen so don't expect to have your final results by then. Drains are a necessary part of the procedure but aren't to be feared. They help, not hurt.


Kouros Azar

Kouros Azar, MD
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Tummy tuck pain level?

Yes, patients with a history of a C-Section often equate their TT recovery to that. The first 3-4 days are tough and it gets rapidly better after that. By the time of the wedding,  6 weeks later, you will be doing fine. By reducing the risk of seroma, drains are a necessary evil and a big help in speeding healing according to most surgeons. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Dr. Derby Sang

Thank you for your question.

The recovery after a TT is a process that can last up to 6 months. During the first month post- op inflammation will diminish greatly , but then a residual inflammation that remains will go more slowly disappearing over the following months . On pain , patients manifest the greatest degree of discomfort in the first two weeks . After these weeks, the pain is much less and the patients feel very well, especially because they no longer have the suction drain 

Best of luck

Derby Sang Caputo, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Pain Level and Tummy Tuck

A very important goal with a tummy tuck is to keep the patient as comfortable as possible after surgery. I have found that the Exparel intra-operative injections have been extremely well received by my patients. The injections last for 3 to 4 days and are as effective as a pain pump. The drains remove fluids that accumulate underneath the skin promoting faster healing. The drains are removed in 7 to 10 days. My patients are able to return to formal exercise at 6 weeks, you should be in good shape for the wedding! Be sure to see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Good luck!

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Tummy tuck pain level?

I would not let worries about postoperative pain deter you from getting your tummy tuck.  The pain can be well managed by your surgeon.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Pain level after a tummy tuck

Most patient who have had a C-section say the pain level is very similar.  It important that you follow your surgeons pre and post operative instructions so that you may have the best results possible.  Drains are definitely part of the surgery there is no way around it, so plan to have the drains in. *

N. Bill Aydin, MD
Paramus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 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.