Exparel. Worth it?

I'm getting a TT and was offered Exparel. It sounds like it would help, but is it worth it? Any experiences anyone can share?

Doctor Answers 7

Exparel When Having a Tummy Tuck?

I use Exparel routinely on every Tummy Tuck in which I am doing a rectus muscle plication. I believe that it clearly helps with the post operative pain and makes the early recovery easier. This does not mean the TT is pain free, you will still need to take some pain medication, but it helps get patients through the most painful first three to four days. There as several good studies that show Exparel reduces the need for narcotic type pain medications.

Because we believe that Exparel significantly improves the patient experience, it is included in the cost of surgery, and patients appear to appreciate our efforts to make their recovery easier. 

Exparel. Worth it?

I have found that when a tummy tuck is performed with muscle imbrication (correction of separation), Exparel seems to make my patients more comfortable during the early post-operative period. Good Luck!

Exparel. Worth it?

Dear tbenson80,
I have switched to Exparel from On Q pain pumps, and have used it on every TT in at least the past year. I would highly recommend it! It is not just the incision that is injected, but more importantly the abdominal wall muscles, drain sites (if needed), and even adjacent liposuction sites. I don't typically use it on other procedures unless patients have chronic pain issues or an aversion to narcotics.
Best of luck! You are in good hands :)

Stacey Folk, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews


Each patient has different pain threshold and different recovery time.
Although Exparel may add slightly on your surgical cost, it will help with post-op pain control for 72 hours.
It has minimal risk associated with it; I routinely use Exparel for my patients.
Good luck with your surgery and recovery.

Pain management after tummy tuck

Pain after a tummy tuck is mostly related to the tightening of the rectus muscles, also called muscle plication.This can be alleviated significantly with the use of devices such as pain pumps delivering a local anesthetic such as Marcaine or with the use of Exparel which is a slow release lyposomal Bupivicaine that can really help with post-op pain in the first 3-4 days after surgery. 
This can help decrease the need for post-op narcotics which of course helps decrease the side effects of narcotics such as nausea and constipation

Alain Polynice, MD
Latham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Abdominoplasty: post operative pain control

Dear Ms. Theneson80,

Thank you for your questions.

I personally believe intraoperative local anesthesia injection and the use of a postoperative non narcotic pain pump significantly reduces the amount of pain after a 
abdominoplasty. I include both in all my abdominaloplasty procedures.

Obviously if there is a additional fee you will have evaluate the cost/benefit ratio.

I trust you have chosen a Plastic Surgeon who is a experienced and Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. In addition ideally he/she is a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (denoting by membership as having met additional criteria and a focus on Cosmetic Plastic Surgery).

My best wishes,
R. A. Hardesty, MD, FACS
Diplomate and Certified by the Am. Bd. of Plastic Surgery
4646 Brockton Ave
Riverside, Ca 92506
(951) 686-7600


Every patient processes pain differently, but if you are worried about your post op pain in particular then yes, I think Exparel would be worth the extra cost. Best, Dr. Nazarian

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 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.