6 month post op from having a tummy tuck and a breast lift with 495 cc implants. I have been having back pain ever since.

This pain radiates in the center of my back and I have been treating it with ice. My PCP said it could just be from the way I carry myself now. It hurts so bad at times that it takes away from my daily routine. I'm looking for advice on how to treat it and will it ever go away.

Doctor Answers 7

Post-Op Healing with Back Pain

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Within a few hours following surgery, abdominoplasty or mommy makeover patients will walk in a slightly bent-over position. Strenuous activity and lifting of more than 10 pounds should be avoided for six weeks after surgery. Most patients are able to return to work and daily activities within two weeks of surgery.

Most patients will be placed in an abdominal binder, which they will wear the first week. There is usually a fair amount of swelling and the binder should be opened several times a day so that there are no pressure points. After the first 7 to 10 days the patient is placed in an elastic garment for compression over the next six weeks.

Swelling can persist for several months and will gradually improve and will look better at three months, six months, and even one year. Frequently the pubic area and the scrotal and penis area for men can become very swollen and discolored during the first two weeks due to gravity as this is the lowest area for swelling to accumulate.

Now, if the healing process is not going along well and you find yourself with back pain it would be best to visit your surgeon with your worries and concerns. You will be able to receive a live evaluation of the area to make sure that healing is still progressing or if something needs to be done to help with your pain.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Mommy Makeover /Breast Augmentation/Breast Implants/Anatomic Gummy Bear Implants/Tummy Tuck/Liposuction/BBL

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I appreciate your question.

Since there has been a change in your post op course, please contact your surgeon so he/she can examine you and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan at this time.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.

Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery.

Best of luck!

Dr. Schwartz

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon


Back pain with implants

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It certainly seems logical to assume the pain is related to the implants. Larger implants are associated with increased rates of back and neck pain, but obviously there are many ladies with large implants who don't experience what you are experiencing and are happy with their size.

I would suggest evaluation by a physical therapist or chiropractor as well as using good supportive bras. Patients after a tummy tuck typically walk a bit "hunched over" at first and it may be that is just this and with improvements in support and posture the back pain may go away.

If you attempt these other treatment modalities and the pain is not improved, then I would take with your surgeon about the possibility of smaller implants.

Back pain

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Back pain can be related to many causes.  The way you carry yourself or the weight of the breasts can certainly influence this.  Talk to your primary care doctor about physical therapy or chiropractic therapy to help relieve your discomfort.  Be mindful of your posture and use proper techniques when lifting or bending.  

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Back pain after breast implants

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Thank you for taking the time to post a question. There are a lot of causes of back pain and the increase in size and weight of your breasts can definitely be one cause. It can also be postural or from a variety of other reasons. I would recommend a consultation with a physical therapist as they may be able to recommend strengthening exercises and postural improvement that can decrease your pain. If this is not successful, you might consider decreasing your implant size.

Good luck!

Jennifer Boll, MD
Tempe Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Breast implants - now I have back pain

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Thank you for asking about your breast implants and back pain.

  • If you had no pain  before you had implants, and you have had back pain ever since, the pain is presumably related to the implants.
  • You have large implants - big enough to cause back pain in some women.
  • A lot depends on your height, weight, fitness and spinal curvature.
  • You have several options and I suggest you consider this approach -
  • See an orthopedic surgeon specializing in the back for an assessment.
  • If there is no underlying problem, try massage. If the pain goes away, then returns, it is probably the implants.
  • So then see your plastic surgeon about having smaller implants.
  • Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

It's doubtful that it's related to your surgery

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It's unlikely that it is due to your surgery. Even with breast implants, the weight of the implant is held close to your center of gravity so they rarely cause the back pain that is associated with large breasts (that's usually upper back and shoulder pain). Your posture may have a lot to do with it. Ask your PCP about seeing a back surgeon or maybe try massage therapy.  Good luck!

Robert S. Houser, DO
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 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.