Time frame of pain medication needs after an Extended TT with Lipo?

On average, if everything continues to heal properly, how long should one stay on narcotic pain medications and when should they switch to an over the counter pain medication such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen? Also when does the pain stop altogether so that they won't even need Tyenol or anything for pain? This question is for the recovery of a TT with Lipo. Specifically in my situation an Extended TT with Lipo of flanks and abdomen. Thanks in advance!

Doctor Answers 6

Pain medication use after tummy tuck surgery #plasticsurgery

We use Exparel intra-op for our tummy tuck patients - this medication cuts down on post op narcotic use dramatically. Mosat of our patients are off of narcotics 4-7 days after surgery and are taking Ibuprofen.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Pain post TT

In my practice patients can usually switch over to just Tylenol after a few days.  I do not allow Ibuprofen until after two weeks because it increases the risk of bleeding and possibility of seroma post tummy tuck.  Most important decision is to find a board certified plastic surgeon that performs a lot of tummy tuck procedures.  Best of luck to you

Milind K. Ambe, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Pain After Tummy T uck and Liposuction


Usually people take narcotic medication about 5 to 7 days. There are few who need it for 24 to 48 hours, and few who need it 14 days. Motrin is a great alternative after a few days, but few surgeons are willing to allow their patients to take it, in fear of increasing the risk of bleeding, which it doesn't.  In terms of relative pain, many of my patients find liposuction more painful than the tummy tuck. 

Best of luck

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Pain medications post tummy tuck and liposuction

Thank you for your question. Every patient is different and has a different level of pain tolerance. The most uncomfortable part of an abdominoplasty is the tightening of the abdominal muscles. In my practice I use experal at the time of surgery. This is a long acting pain medication keeps the abdominal muscles numb for the first 72 hours. This has worked very well for my patients. I also give narcotic pain medication for the first couple of weeks as well as valium to help relax the muscles. In addition, for patients that are able to take ibuprofen, I have them take 800mg of ibuprofen 3 times a day between the pain medication. After 2 weeks, most patients are not taking the narcotics during the day, but may choose to at night if they are uncomfortable before bed. By 4 weeks most patients are not taking any pain medication. This being said, I tell my patients it is a solid 8-10 weeks before they are feeling "back to normal". Good luck!

Time frame of pain medication needs after an Extended TT with Lipo?

Whether or not the TT is extended and with or withoout liposuction has little to do with the extent of the pain. That is all due to whether or not the muscle is repaired as that is the source of 90% of the pain. Recovery is very patient dependent. We see patients off narcotics before the end of the first week and a few patients needing narcotics into the 3rd week. It is generally 2-3 months before all the surgical feeling of the TT has past but rarely is pain medication of any type needed past the 3rd-4th week. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Pain medicines after a tummy tuck

The answer to this of course will be different for individual patients. Most patients won't need narcotics after 5 to 7 days. They may require an extra pill now and then if they had an especially active day. This would usually stop by about 10 days.

Ira H. Rex lll, MD
Fall River Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 46 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.