Is a Breast Lift with Tummy Tuck too much recovery pain to handle?

I need a breast lift and tummy tuck procedure done but I am afraid of the recovery pain. Is the pain or recovery time doubled because more than one procedure is being done? Should I do them separately or all in one shot? I have two kids but had them naturally so never went through c-section or any surgery in my life.

Doctor Answers 19

Tummy tuck and breast lift

Thank you for your question. A tummy tuck and breast lift are great procedures to combine as they address some of big changes that happen after pregnancy or weight changes. It is often referred to as a mommy makeover. It is a bigger procedure and may often require a night in the hospital. I would consult with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area to discuss your options in more detail, review if there are any medical reasons to stage the procedure. If they deem you are healthy to have have the combined procedure, then you will only have one recovery.  In addition, it is the tummy tuck procedure that will be the drive the level of discomfort and typically the breast lift is much more secondary.

Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

No-drain-No-pain Mommy Makeover

Great question.  Mommy makeovers are more easily tolerated the way we perform our surgeries.  We do not use drains and have used Exparel to help reduce pain with success.  One patient stated she felt great after the surgery.  Exparel is a long-acting numbing medication that can reduce pain, including the pain associated with tightening of the abdominal wall which usually contributes to postoperative pain.  Performing both surgeries with only one recovery may be more beneficial for the patient's schedule and offer quicker results.  Hope this helps.

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

Breast Lift with Tummy Tuck during same surgery - recommended for most

I would do both procedures at the same time which is typical of mommy makeover surgeries. 
Here is how to make the procedures less painful afterwards: Have your surgeon use Exparel.
 Exparel is a very long-acting local anesthetic that lasts approximately 3 or more days following injection and great for Tummy Tucks and other surgeries. Not only does it prevent pain but also most muscle spasms. It lasts the same length of time that a pain pump lasts and will therefore take the place of a pain pump. This means patients can enjoy the same effect of a pain pump, but without any catheters and no pain pump to carry around.
Exparel will be available for those concerned about minimizing discomfort after surgeries such as tummy tuck and breast augmentation.
Exparel costs the same as a pain pump and produces the same result but with less hassle and works great.

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

Is a Breast Lift with Tummy Tuck too much recovery pain to handle?

A breast lift is fairly painless and does not add to your recovery if you are having it along with the tummy tuck.  If you are having a lift along with implants that would be somewhat painful, but a lift alone is surprisingly painless.

Ruben B. Abrams, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Combination procedure

The combination of the breast lift with the tummy tuck is a very safe and common one.  Most of the pain will probably be in the abdomen, especially if significant muscle tightening is done.  A breast lift doesn't hurt that much in most cases.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Breast lift and tummy tuck

It's very normal to be concerned about post-op pain.  The good news is that the breast lift is not a painful surgery. Most women who have both operations together tell me that the breast lift portion was easy, and most of the discomfort was related to the tummy tuck, especially if liposuction of the flanks was done at the same time.

So, I hope you would have a similar positive experience too.

All the best,

PS:  Our new "TAP block" technique for tummy tucks significantly reduces post-op tummy soreness!

Thomas Fiala, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Breast lift and tummy tuck

This combination of procedures is quite commonly done at one operation. Recovery time and pain is probably less than doing these separately.  Most patients will experience the majority of discomfort in the abdomen, and hardly notice any pain in the breasts.  The tummy tuck is also the longer recovery, and doing the breast lift will not add time if done together. 

Thanks for your question, all the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Mommy makeover recovery better with Exparel

The combination of breast surgery (lift and/or implants) with a tummy tuck is often called a mommy makeover, and it is usually done in one operation. That way you have less overall recovery time (as compared to different surgeries on different days) and less expense. The use of Exparel, a long-acting numbing agent, has made a big difference because patients feel less pain and don't need as much pain medication.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Combined breast lift and tummy tuck

It is very common to combine a breast lift and a tummy tuck at the same time. Provided you are in good overall health, this can be done in about four hours which is quite safe. The pain of the tummy tuck is more severe than the breast lift itself. Adding a breast lift to a tummy tuck does not add much more pain as it's the tummy tuck with it's muscle tightening which causes the most pain. I would suggest taking about one week off from work to recover and avoid heavy lifting for about four to six weeks after surgery. Consult with a few board certified plastic surgeons to a comprehensive examination to see if you are a good candidate for this type of surgery.

Best wishes,


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 377 reviews

Breast lift and tummy tuck

The combination procedure is one of the most common we do at the Philadelphia Surgi-Center.  Seek out a provider who can show you images of results and has confidence in the combined process.  It should take less than four hours.  The recovery is no picnic, but you only recover once.  The tummy tuck will be the more painfull, and you may not even notice the breast surgery because of that.  Good Luck

Neil Gottlieb, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 27 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.