how painful is a mini tummy tuck?

Doctor Answers 5

Pain associated with mini tummy tuck

Depending on the scope of the surgery and your pain tolerance, the pain will range from tolerable to extremely painful. Consult with an experienced and expert board certified plastic surgeon to understand your options.


West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Discomfort level of a mini tummy tuck

Hi kpkids1702.  There are different elements to a mini tuck that determine the level of discomfort.  Some have only skin removed-this will have minimal discomfort associated mostly with the healing incision.  If skin is removed and fat is liposuctioned, there will be some additional aching sensation where the fat is removed.  If muscle repair is done in the lower abdomen, then expect more tighteness in addition to the other discomforts.  Most patients do not require more than 3-4 days max of pain meds.  You will experience limitations in movements for several weeks, and perhaps discomfort with coughing & sneezing, similar actions with an increase in abdominal pressure.  Be sure to consult with your PS to make sure you are a candidate for a mini vs. a full tuck, and review the difference in discomfort level with a full tuck.  Best wishes,

Pain from mini tummy tuck

Thank you for your question.

Experience of pain for any individual for any procedure can vary widely. I will answer based on the average pain experience of my personal patients although your experience could certainly be different.

In general, operations that involve cutting or manipulation of the muscle to be consistently more painful that those that do not. For example, breast augmentation under the muscle averages more pain than augmentation above the muscle. The addition of any muscle tightening to your procedure will increase your pain post-operatively as well as your recovery time.

A mini tummy tuck is still a significant procedure in that it involves the soft tissues of the entire lower abdomen and you have a long incision to heal. It is a smaller area than a full tummy tuck and thus associated with less pain in general, but it is likely than you will feel pain for several days followed by general discomfort and soreness for several weeks.

There are several strategies to help with post-operative pain including long lasting numbing agents (Exparel) as well as paid medication and muscle relaxants. I have found these to be of great benefit to my patients.

Good luck!

Frederick K. Park, MD
Rocky Mount Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Pain with Mini Tummy Tuck

Dear kpkids1702,

A mini tummy tuck is somewhat of a misnomer in that it leads a patient to think it will be a small, tiny incision. In fact, it needs to go the width of the abdomen to incorporate all the excess or sagging skin and fat. It is very effective at removing the roll below the bellybutton and lifting up the private areas. Typically, there is no muscle repair done with this, and that results in much less pain than a full tummy tuck.

I hope this has been helpful.

Robert D. Wilcox, MD

Robert D. Wilcox, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Pain management options with mini tummy tuck

The pain from a mini tummy tuck depends a lot on whether a muscle repair is done. We have had good results with a medication called Exparel, which is a long acting local anesthetic that is placed into the surgical site. It blocks a lot of the pain for up to 3 days and gets the recovery process off to a good start. Exparel can be placed using a technique called the TAP block, which seems to make it even more effective.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 48 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.