Can I Use a TENS Unit for Nerve Stimulation After Tummy Tuck?

Can a TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) unit can be used for nerve stimulation and massaging after tummy tuck, and if so, does it help?

Doctor Answers 4

TENS unit not necessary after a tummy tuck

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Patients undergoing a tummy tuck should anticipate a significant recovery process. After the surgery, patients may have numbness, tingling, bruising and swelling. Ask your body's nerves continue to regenerate and repair, the numbness and tingling should resolve. In our practice, patients have not had difficulty with sensation and have been able to manage their discomfort with Tylenol and mild pain medications. A TENS unit would not be necessarily helpful after a tummy tuck.

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Use of TENS unit and massage for nerve pain & swelling following tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)

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I have not used this modality but I believe it could offer some potential benefit. I would discuss this with your surgeon first who may have strong feelings one way or the other. I would not use this unti the drains were out and you were about 3 weeks after surgery. Many advise the use of manual lymphatic drainage massage techniques to limit swelling and the timing of this has been argued as well. Discuss this modality with your surgeon

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

TENs unit after tummy tuck

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I would advise against it. The pain is mainly from the tightening of the muscle wall (plication). My patients have found the pain quite tolerable with the marcaine infusion pump.

Jack Gelman, MD
Frankfort Plastic Surgeon

It is unlikely

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The main pain from tummy tuck is from deep layers and musle pull. The best treatment for the pain from tummy tuck for my patients been pain pump(infusion of marcaine through catheter that plantted during surgery and removed 3 days after surgery). This also has been used by orthopedic surgeons and general surgeon. Ask your doctor about this.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 153 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.