TT Pain - if anticipated post-op pain is what's stopping a patient from moving forward, what do you tell them?

Doctor Answers 11

TT Pain - if anticipated post-op pain is what's stopping a patient from moving forward, what do you tell them?

Pain after a tummy tuck can be significantly reduced by use of a pain pump to continuously give droplets of numbing medicine or some doctors use Experel long-term pain relief injections.  Though I have not used the latter I am sure it is comparable to the pain pump and significantly reduces the discomfort during the healing period to the degree that recovery becomes quite easily managed.  I have never had a patient regret undergoing the procedure due to the pain of recovery.  It is of course your final decision to be made. Best wishes,

Jon A Perlman M.D., FACS
Diplomate, American Board of Plastic Surgery
Member, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)
ABC-TV Extreme Makeover Surgeon
Beverly Hills, California

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Post-op Tummy Tuck Pain

Thank you very much for your question. Today’s abdominoplasty procedures can provide safe and satisfying results. While you should expect moderate discomfort for several days after your tummy tuck, post-op pain can be well-controlled using prescription and over the counter medications. For most patients, a few days of tenderness are well worth it for their life-changing results. My recommendation is that you schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon, who can explain his/her strategies for managing pain after a tummy tuck.

Paul Vitenas, Jr., MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

TT Pain - if anticipated post-op pain is what's stopping a patient from moving forward, what do you tell them?

I would tell you that the pain is temporary.  If you want to do the surgery and are healthy, move forward.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

What can be done with TT pain?

There are several things that I do to minimize the pain after a TT like use a long acting anesthetic, pain pump but there usually is pain associated with it but in my patients, most are able to even begin driving a car within the first week.

Edward J. Domanskis, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Tummy tuck pain

Hi and thanks for your inquiry. Trust me after tummy tuck pain is well tolerated with conventional pain killers, must patients refer "tummy sore" like after doing a lot of abs. I recommend my patients to keep a semi flex position for a week to avoid tension on the scar and most of the times the back hurts but is temporal.

Best wishes.

Hector Milla, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Surgical Pain after Abdominoplasty


I have found that the use of a long acting local anesthetic injected into your muscles prior to the conclusion of the surgery makes the pain level on par with abdominal liposuction. This is especially true since the elimination of drains after surgery. The appearance and burden of drains after surgery has a negative psychological effect on the patient, and I believe made them feel more debilitated and in pain. Go visit a few ABPS certified/ASAPS member surgeons that perform a comprehensive abdominoplasty without drains. Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Pain after surgery

Post-operative pain can be a daunting factor in anyone's decision to proceed with surgery. In most cases, there are multiple layers in place to minimize discomfort after surgery. It is expected that the patient will recover comfortably before they are discharged and be given pain medications to take at home after the surgery. Some patients may request to have a special pain pump or injection of long-acting local anesthetic which will significantly reduce or block pain. There will usually also be a snug garment or abdominal binder placed which helps support your abdomen to minimize any movement and provide a sense of security and protection to the patient. Finally, it is important that the patient has assistance at home so they do not over exert themselves when recovering. Hope this helps!

Johnson C. Lee, MD Plastic Surgery

Johnson C. Lee, MD
Beverly Hills Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Pain post TT

Thank you for reaching out. I think this is an area of concern or fear for almost all TT patients! Pain can be well managed with a pain pump and post op pain medication. Just know that you are not alone and that most patients question the amount of pain after this procedure. Your surgeon will do his or her best to help make you as comfortable as possible post op. If you have any other questions, please feel free to message me or we would be more than happy to see you in our Mission Viejo or Newport Beach office to go over questions and options. Best of luck! Dr. Kachenmeister

Robert M. Kachenmeister, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

TT Pain - if anticipated post-op pain is what's stopping a patient from moving forward, what do you tell them?

That's a pretty good question. I generally speak with patients about the "balance" of surgery, ie the positives and the negatives. If the positive issues don't outweigh the negative issues in both the surgeon's and the patient's mind, they are not a good candidate for surgery. So in this case if 4-7 days of discomfort is not outweighed in your mind by a lifetime of a more attractive abdomen, don't do it. But when we put it like that, I bet you go for the surgery.  Good luck and enjoy the changes. Patients love their new tummies. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Abdominoplasty Postop Pain

As many patients have had C-sections in the past, the postop pain associated with a tummy tuck is similar to a C-section.  For those that haven't had a C-section I try to explain that majority of the patients do great with pain medications and muscle relaxants.  For those that are still apprehensive, then there is also an option of having a pain pump inserted at the time of surgery to help with the discomfort afterwards.  Most patient complain of their lower back hurting more so that the surgical area, secondary to position (having patients walk bent over and sleeping position).  In most patients pain medication is required for less than 5 days.

Hope that sheds some light on the subject.

Good luck.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 72 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.