How to Stop Pain in Abdomen After Tummy Tuck?

Over five years after surgery I still cannot touch my wife's belly without causing her great discomfort.

Doctor Answers 12

Pain After Tummy Tuck

Although most people recover more quickly, we do see few patients with prolonged pain after Tummy Tuck: the most common cause is nerve irritation by scar.

Have your wife evaluated by the surgeon who performed the tummy tuck; there may be something he/she can do to improve her symptoms.

Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Tummy tuck and persistent post operative pain

On rare occasion, I have seen patients who have gained weight after a successful muscle repair and subsequently report pain due to a compartment like syndrome. A neuroma is another less likely cause. Have you discussed this with your surgeon.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Pain after a tuck?

It is normal after an abdominoplasty to have discomfort for about two weeks and then progressively one returns to full activities over 6 weeks.  Pain after 5 years needs to be looked into because there must be a neuroma of some sort.  If it was a simple tummy tuck (and not a hernia surgery or a donor site for a breast reconstruction surgery) this sort of thing really isn't seen often.  She should consult her board certified plastic surgeon to see if they can inject the area or maybe even reexplore it if there is a pinpoint trigger.  Best wishes,

Ricardo A. Meade, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 119 reviews

She may have a neuroma

you should go back to see your plastic surgeon.  If there is  a specific trigger point that causes this pain, she may need to be evaluated for a treateable problem such as a neuroma.  good luck

Marwan R. Khalifeh, MD
Chevy Chase Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

Pain after Tummy Tuck

Pain following a tummy tuck is typically the worst in the first week or two, and then resolves over time. Having the type of pain you describe five years out from surgery is not common, but can be related to scar tissue around a nerve, or a neuroma (overgrowth of a cut end of a nerve). Typically with scarring around a nerve or a neuroma, one can pinpoint exactly where the pain is along the abdomen. In that case surgical exploration and release of the nerve or excision of neuroma can possibly relieve the symptoms. Abdominal pain can also be due to an intra-abdominal source, and completely unrelated to the surgery.  I would definitely recommend that your wife visit the plastic surgeon who performed her surgery in order to evaluate the source of her pain. He or she will have a good sense of whether or not the pain is related to her tummy tuck. If it is unrelated, he or she can refer her to the appropriate doctor. Good luck!

Anita Patel, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Pain 5 years after tummy tuck

It is not common to have pain this far after a tummy tuck procedure.  As such, I would see the original plastic surgeon who performed the surgery and ask for his/her opinion.  One possibility is nerve entrapment which may be causing this. 

There are also a number of other issues which could be potentially causing pain and so it is important that this be looked at.

I hope that helps!

Gregory A. Buford, MD, FACS
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Pain after abdominoplasty.

This pain is very unusual.  Try to localize the area of pain. See if there is a trigger spot.  Have your plastic surgeon review this.  Ask for a pain control doctor's evaluation.   I have never experienced this in  the over 1000 tummy tucks I have done.  

George Commons, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Pain five years post tummy tuck

To have pain in the abdomen five years after a tummy tuck is extremely unusual. You should get checked out by a plastic surgeon.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

How to Stop Pain in Abdomen After Tummy Tuck?

Something does not sound right. Seek in person opinions from boarded surgeons in Palm Beach, like Hilton Becker. Best of luck from MIAMI Dr. Darryl j. Blinski

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Pain after tummy tuck

Hello and thank you for the question.

It is extremely rare to experience pain in abdomen 5 years out from surgery. As my colleague was suggesting, it could be a possible nerve entrapment which would require exploration and release. There is no guarantee this will relieve your wife's pain, however.  Potentially, her pain could be derived from a totally unrelated issue. I recommend you follow-up with your plastic surgeon for a full evaluation.


Glenn Vallecillos, M.D., F.A.C.S. 

Glenn Vallecillos, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 31 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.