What is the most common pain medication prescribed when having full tummy tuck and lipo of abdomen, flanks and outer thighs?

Doctor Answers 23

What is the most common pain medication prescribed when having full tummy tuck and lipo of abdomen, flanks and outer thighs?

In my practice, I prescribe the following for tummy tuck and liposuction:
1. antibiotics
2. narcotic pain medication
3. anti-nausea medication
4. muscle relaxant
5. over the counter stool softener to prevent constipation

Good luck and be safe.

John T. Nguyen, MD, FACS, FICS
Double Board Certified Plastic Surgeon


Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 71 reviews

Pain medications following tummy tuck

In my practice, I prescribe percocet or vicodin for pain following tummy tuck.  Occasionally a patient may specifically request demerol but it would not be my first choice for post operative pain initially.  

What is the most common pain medication prescribed when having full tummy tuck and lipo of abdomen, flanks and outer thighs?

Thank you for your question. as the other surgeons explained.

1. antibiotics
2. narcotic pain medication
3. anti-nausea medication
4. muscle relaxant
5. over the counter stool softener to prevent constipation

Bulent Cihantimur, MD
Turkey Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Medications for Tummy Tuck and Liposuction

Thank you for your question. Here are some of the common types of medications prescribed when undergoing these surgeries. Antibiotic, anti-nausea, stool softener (Colace), Norco for the pain, and a muscle relaxer. You may also get a patch to put behind your ear four hours before surgery to prevent nausea. Hope this was helpful, best of luck!Dhaval M. Patel Double board certified Plastic surgeonHoffman Estates Barrington Oakbrook Chicago

Dhaval M. Patel, MD
Hoffman Estates Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

What is the most common pain medication prescribed when having full tummy tuck and lipo of abdomen, flanks and outer thighs?

Thank you for the question. Good pain control after tummy tuck is very important for many reasons. Besides the important concern of patient comfort, good pain control allows for better/easier deep breathing exercises and ambulation. These measures may lead to decreased incidences of pulmonary complications and/or thromboembolic phenomenon.

These days plastic surgeons have many options when it comes to pain control after tummy tuck surgery. The use of narcotic medication, muscle relaxants, non-narcotics, pain control pumps, and long-lasting local anesthetics have made the postoperative experience much better than in the past. The specific medications used will vary from one practice to another.

In our practice, all patients undergoing, tummy tuck surgery receive a postoperative pain control pump. I have yet to have a patient complain of the "hassle" factor. In my opinion, there is no demonstrable difference between the use of local anesthesia provided through a pain pump versus long lasting injectable anesthetics. There are certainly no objective studies that demonstrate the superiority of one over the other. Best wishes.

What is the most common pain medication prescribed when having full tummy tuck and lipo of abdomen, flanks, and outer thighs?

Hello! Thank you for your question! Exparel is an excellent form of delivery of a local anesthetic, Marcaine. It is delivered within a liposomes form, which is slowly released over a 72 hour period. The injectable form lasts approximately 6 hours. It has significantly reduced postoperative pain as well as the need for postoperative narcotics following surgical procedures. Sometimes a small additional fee is required for it's use, but it's benefits have been great. The pain pumps are excellent as well as they continuously drip the anesthetic within the pocket.

Typically, Exparel is either injected into the surrounding soft tissue/underlying muscle layer or just simply released into the pocket itself. If injected between the ribs, there certainly is a theoretical, and higher, risk of puncturing of the lung. the former methods are more common.  In addition, oral pain medications consisting of Tylenol with a narcotic (usually hydrocodone or oxycodone) are excellent medications to manage postoperative pain following this procedure.  Discuss its access as well as potential use for you with your surgeon. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

What is the most common pain medication prescribed when having full tummy tuck and lipo of abdomen, flanks and outer thighs?

This is a good question and one to which my answer changed just last year. The most common pain medication in my practice for Tummy Tuck procedures is a long lasting (72 hours) injectable pain medication placed near the end of the procedure. We began using this in 2013 and it has provided a more pleasant experience for my Tummy Tuck patients. Patients require little more to keep them comfortable through the healing process. When they do need a little more relief the medications (which we also give for liposuction even when done without tummy tuck) are Norco 7.5 and occasionally Ultram or a muscle relaxant to use in the in-between times to ease tension in the back, primarily and the abdomen.
Dr. Steve Byrd

Steve Byrd, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Post Operative Pain Medication for Tummy Tuck and Liposuction

Thank you for your question. The answer varies from surgeon to surgeon based on their experience and a patient's needs. I use Percocet or Vicodin and I also use a pain pump for my tummy tuck patients. This helps reduce the need for narcotic pain control. My patients tend to be quite happy with this. Talk to your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon about the care plan they have for you. Best wishes.

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 111 reviews

Protocols for tummy tuck recovery

As you can see, we all have variations of how best to do things.  In my practice, you are asked to do a bowel prep before surgery and will get a narcotic (most commonly Norco), anti-emetic if you want, and muscle relaxant if your muscles are being sutured together.  You can start anti-inflammatories the day after if there are no problems so this could include Celebrex or Motrin.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Pain control after tummy tuck

Doctors will use a number of different meds depending on what they are used to.  It also depends on whether you have any allergies.  I commonly use Percocet and Celebrex  I place a pain pump in the abdomen.  A support garment can help with pain some too.  Ice or heat can be helpful but be sure not to damage your numb tissues.  Check with your surgeon on all of these.

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.