Normal to Have Pain After Tummy Tuck That Isn't Near Incision?

I had a TT on February 18th. The pain in the center of my stomach is the worst. Is this normal? I thought the pain would be in the lower belly around the incision line.

Doctor Answers 5

Strong pain in center of abdomen after tummy tuck

It sounds as if the pain you are describing is due to the muscle repair. This can be aggravated by muscle spasm which can be alleviated with a muscle relaxant or may be due to entrapment of nerves by the muscle repair sutures. In general this pain will resolve. However, you could have a co-existent hernia and you should notify your surgeon so that he/she may follow you.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Pain after a tummy tuck

Usually patients complain of pain in the midline abdomen the most. This is because of the muscle plication.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Pain after tummy tuck

Tummy tucks are a very popular and effective way to contour the abdomen. After this procedure, patients should enter state a significant recovery which will consist of bruising, swelling, and some discomfort.

It is common for patients to feel discomfort away from the incision line. This is because a significant amount of work was not done at the incision line but throughout the abdomen, specifically in the center of your abdomen from the bottom portion of your chest down to your pubic bone. If you received a muscle repair, this is the location of the sutures. If you are feeling discomfort in the center of the abdomen, this is most likely the cause.

To learn more about tummy tucks, see photos, and help you decide which one is best for you, please visit us at the link below:

Pat Pazmino, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Pain from the muscular repair is usually central


This sounds typical as pain from the muscular repair is usually central. Did you have a pain pump after surgery? Usually, these help quite a bit both before and after they are removed.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Sounds normal

Hi there-

Without knowing more about your operation and examining you, it is difficult to say for sure, but if you had the most common technique for tummy tuck performed, the pain you are describing is absolutely normal.

During most tummy tucks, your abdominal muscles are repaired, to return them to the anatomical configuration they were in before pregnancy stretched them apart. These sutures run up and down the middle of your body, from your rib cage to your pubic area...

The pain usually starts to improve within a few days to 2 weeks, although you will probably still feel tightness and twinges of pain with certain movements for a few months.

Hang in there, and congratulations on your new bod!

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 159 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.