Pain After Tummy Tuck 5 Weeks Post Op?

I am 5 weeks post op from a tummy tuck. I have been working for 2 weeks where I have to walk, bend, and lift a lot. For the past week, I have had a really sharp pain at the top right of where my muscles were tightened (close to under my ribs). Ibuprofen helps some. I've called my doctor twice and his nurse keeps telling me it's normal and to take ibuprofen, but it's not helping enough! Is this normal? What can I do for the pain besides taking oral meds.... numbing patch, massage, etc...?

Doctor Answers 4

Abdominal Pain 5 weeks after tummy tuck

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I typically like patients to wait 6 weeks prior to lifting more than 15 pounds or performing any abdominal resistance exercises.   If you are not responding to ibuprofen, I would encourage you to closely monitor your activity level and limit those that involve lifting or core abdominal strength.   


It sounds as though your body needs more time to heal and the best medicine is often preventative measures.   I do not think numbing patches or massage will offer significant improvement.   I would recommend that you wear your binder tight to provide compression and support. 


I wish you a healthy recovery!!

Dr. Gill

Houston Plastic Surgeon


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Usually after a T/T surgery we tell our patients not to lift or bend for 6-8 weeks. The pain your feeling can be because you’re over doing it and it’s too soon after surgery, you should get checked out to make sure you haven’t hurt anything.


Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Pain After Tummy Tuck 5 Weeks Post Op?

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I agree with the previous posts.  You should be on light duty for the first 6 weeks post operative to allow proper healing. Talk to your Plastic Surgeon about this.

Abdominal pain after tummy tuck

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I am concerned that you have been overexerting too soon after the surgery. For patients who have jobs requiring lifting and bending, I advise a longer recuperative period. Please continue to followup with your plastic surgery and ascertain whether you can have a light duty option at work.

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.