I Hear Back Pain is a Real Issue in TT Recovery?

I am seriously looking into a TT. I am getting so excited that I am becoming obsessed LOL! I think the back pain is what is worrying me the most. Are there any exercises to strenghten the back to help prepare for the discomfort?

Doctor Answers 9

Back Pain After Tummy Tuck - Not A Serious Problem In Hawaii

I have done over 1,000 tummy tucks (abdominoplasties), and I have not heard back pain as a serious problem after a tummy tuck.  The first 3 days after a tummy tuck, the patient has to stay in a lawn chair position which can tighten the back muscles, but changing position often helps.  For the first 5-7 days after a tummy tuck, you are not able to stand up totally straight which may cause some back pain.  But honestly, this has not been a big problem in my practice (perhaps the warm weather in Hawaii helps).  A few of my patients have asked to have back massage, and if the person doing the massaging can do it with the patient sitting and be careful to not overdo things, I find this helpful. 

Tummy tucks are a great operation.  Please choose a Board Certified plastic surgeon with lots of abdominoplasty experience.  The really good news is that Ohio has some of the best plastic surgeons in the world.  I am sure you will find a great one and have a great surgery.

Back pain after tummy tuck

Back pain after tummy tuck is fairly common because patients have to walk in a flexed (bent) position for about 7-10days.  The pain is temporary and can be treated with muscle relaxant.  I am glad that you are thinking about tummy tuck.  It is a great procedure for patients who are good candidates for surgery.  It is meant to give a good abdominal contour by removing the excess skin and fat and by tightening the abdominal muscle.  Please visit with a board-certified plastic surgeon to see whether you are a good candidate.  Best wishes!

Sugene Kim, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Back pain after tummy tuck

Most patients do not focus on back pain. Some do have it. I think that any procedure which involves lying on a hard OR table for 4 hours will produce a backache but also walking in the bent position can produce lower back pain. This is temporary and remember that you will have pain medication postop. Resting in the fetal position will help. It is always a good idea to have body strengthing exercises as a matter of good health.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Back Pain Can Occur Following Tummy Tuck Surgery But Does Not Significantly Hamper Recovery

Following tummy tuck surgery patients are encouraged to ambulate in a flexed (at the waist) position. This position takes tension off the skin closure and is more comfortable because there is less stretch/tension on the muscle plication. After walking in this flexed position for several days, patients may begin to experience (usually lower) back pain. Not every patient has problems with this back pain, but it probably occurs in less than or equal to one-half of the patients to some degree. So in response to your question, No, I do not think back pain is a major problem following tummy tuck surgery. As patients are able to stand more erect, the back pain subsides; this usually takes about 5-10 days. Post-op pain medication and muscle relaxants are usually sufficient to reduce the pain

Best wishes, Ken Dembny

Kenneth Dembny, II, MD
Milwaukee Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Back Pain after a Tummy Tuck

I find that patients who have pre-existing back pain issues are more prone to back pain issues after a tummy tuck.   It is not a common complaint amongst healthy patients, as the majority of the soreness will be related to the abdominal muscle tightening.

In the event that back pain occurs, it is often temporary and easily corrected with muscle relaxants and conservative measures.

I wish you a safe and healthy recovery!!!


Dr. Gill

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Prevention and treatment of back pain following tummy tuck

If a patient has a history of back pain, having a tummy tuck can sometimes aggravate the pain in the first few days following the surgery.  However, the majority of patients don't list back pain as a major problem following the procedure.  You are correct that having good muscle tone before the surgery should help prevent this problem.  Also be sure to change positions and move, even in the first 24 hours after the surgery.  The earlier you start to get up and move around, the less likely back pain will be a problem.  Best wishes.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Back Pain after Tummy Tuck

Thank you for your question.

Yes, back pain is sometimes an issue due to the fact that you will be lying on your back and will be walking in the flexed position for the first 2-4 weeks.  Usually, this back pain will decrease after you start ambulating and start lying in the fetal position (off your back). The use of a walker, muscle relaxants and massage may be helpful.

Best wishes.


Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Lower back soreness post tummy tuck

During my consultations with patients considering a tummy tuck, I tell my patients that I encourage ambulation 1-2 hours after your surgery.  However, you will not be walking straight but rather flexed at your waist in a "skiers" position.  Each day, you will be able to straighten more and more gradually.  It generally takes between 5-10 days to straighten up.  (on average by 7 days, my patients are able to walk straight).  So the reason why some patients get soreness in their lower back is because of the walking in the flexed position for a few days after surgery.  On occasion patients may get soreness in their lower back.  This can be managed with postoperative pain medication.  But the soreness in your lower back, if it occurs at all, resolves once you can walk straight. Hope this is helpful.

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 209 reviews

I Hear Back Pain is a Real Issue in TT Recovery?

I find that the back pain issue is related to post-op posture. The closure is usually tight enough that it is not advisable (or possible sometimes) to stand straight for the first few days. This unusual posture can have its toll on the back and the abdominal muscles. 

Valium or another muscle relaxant is often helpful, and I prescribe it to my patients. I also like them to begin stretching their backs after a few days by leaning against a wall and using the legs to straighten up. That can overcome the spasm in the back muscles and speed up recovery.

Thanks for the question, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 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.