Is the discomfort that one feels after an abdominoplasty due to soreness or pain?

Is the discomfort that one feels after an abdominoplasty due to soreness or pain? How is soreness medically addressed?

Doctor Answers 5

Is the discomfort that one feels after an abdominoplasty due to soreness or pain

There will be quite a bit of soreness following a tummy tuck if a muscle repair is included. Of course everyone has a different level of tolerance, most surgeons should prescribe you some sort of pain medication. You should be up and moving around the day of whether you feel like it or not. The sooner you're up, the sooner you will work through the soreness. You will also have some significant swelling that can lasts up to a year. Wearing a provided compression garment as much as possible will help keep it to a minimum. 


Huntsville Plastic Surgeon
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Discomfort Felt During Tummy Tuck Post-Op

Swelling can persist for several months and will gradually improve and will look better at three months, six months, and even one year. Frequently the pubic area and the scrotal and penis area for men can become very swollen and discolored during the first two weeks due to gravity as this is the lowest area for swelling to accumulate.

You can return to full activity without restrictions at 6 weeks.

It may take several months for a tummy tuck patient’s scars to soften, for sensation to return, and for relaxing of the tight sensation in the abdomen. In the case of extensive surgery, abdominoplasty recovery can be uncomfortable and may take longer. Scars may stay red, become thick or widen. It can take 12-18 months for the scars to settle.

These can be improved with topical treatments such as BioCorneum, Scar Guard, Scar Fade and Mederma. Redness can be improved with laser treatments and the scars can be kept narrow with products such as Embrace.  On occasion, keloids or hypertrophic scars can develop and will need treatment including Kenalog, 5FU and laser.

While all of these areas are healing there can be soreness or pain, but sometimes it may just be the swelling or bruising that can occur with any plastic surgery. If you are worried at all then you should not hesitate to visit your surgeon to have the area examined to make sure healing is progressing well. Good luck.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

Is the discomfort that one feels after a TT due to soreness or pain?

Thank you for sharing your question.  A tummy tuck often combines both a pain and soreness response from the body with the initial discomfort related to the tightening of your abdominal muscles and the incisions required to remove the excess skin.  Once through this, patients will have soreness as their body continues to heal and their tissues learn to move and stretch with increased activity.  Talk to your surgeon about your concerns, they can offer the best details of recovery.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Is the discomfort that one feels after an abdominoplasty due to soreness or pain?

It is probably a combination of both and can likely be treated by pain medication and possibly muscle relaxant if necessary.

Pain after tummy tuck...

Thank you for the question. The tummy tuck procedure is an extensive procedure, associated with a recovery (both physical and often emotional) period, often underestimated by patients.  It is not unusual for patients to experience significant discomfort, despite all efforts, for the first few days after the procedure.


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 along with oral pain meds and muscle relaxants. Best wishes.

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.