Meds after Breast Augmentation if low pain tolerance?

I am going get my breast augmentation in May. I have had c sections with my kids and I know I have a low pain tolerance. I just want to make sure I am going be comfortable as much as possible after. What kinds of medication normaly do they give and how much. I don't want my doctor to think I am just out to get pills I just don't want to suffer.

Doctor Answers 14

Pain Tolerance Options

Thank you for your question! In regards to pain, I typically recommend and use a local long-lasting anesthetic (3 days) called Exparel. Among my patients, a pain score assessed on a 1-10 scale is reduced by 3 to 5 points. For example, pain that might be rated 7-10 is now rated 3-5, a much more tolerable level. The decreased pain decreases the narcotic requirement and aids in recovery time. While there is $300 cost associated, this may be an option you would like to consider.

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Pain control after breast augmentation

Great question.  Patients are all different and require different medications for pain relief.  Depending on the techniques that work best in your surgeon's hands, there are several options for reducing pain.  Intraoperatively, Exparel is an excellent choice for longterm pain control and should be considered.  This may add an additional cost but if pain is your concern, it may be worth looking into.  We place a long-term medication during your surgery, but this will not last the 48-72 hours like exparel can. Postoperatively, narcotics, nonnarcotics, and muscle relaxants are important.  Ice packs placed in the recommended areas can help.  Your surgeon will show you how to gently stretch the pectoralis muscles which will help you recover faster.  We offer arnica pills and cream to our patients as well. Hope this helps.

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 121 reviews

Controlling post-op pain can be accomplished from many methods

as demonstrated from the many answers here.  Exparel is great BUT in my practice, it would add costs to your procedure and most of my patients don't want the additional $300 charge when most do very well with pain pills and muscle relaxants.  And technique can also help minimize pain as demonstrated by those surgeons who rarely use narcotics.  In the end, you should let your surgeon know of your concerns so he/she can take the proper precautions and provide any additional interventions if felt necessary.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Follow you PS post op care

Thank you for the question. This question
is best answered by your surgeon. We have different procedures in
handling post operation treatment.  He/she will best know what pain meds you need in order to be as comfortable as possible.  So best to follow up with your board-certified
plastic surgeon and follow his/her recommendations.Best of luck. Dr. Michael Omidi.

An in-person exam with a board-certified plastic
surgeon is the best way to assess your needs and provide true medical advice.

Michael M. Omidi, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Worried about pain after Breast Augmentation

I highly recommend you consider Exparel which will keep you numb for 3 to 4 days. We use this routinely on our surgical patients.

Arian Mowlavi, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Pain Meds

No surgeon wants their patient to suffer after surgery.  Our goal is to keep you as comfortable as possible.  Prior to your surgery, your surgeon will go over the treatment plan and discuss your individual needs for pain medication.  I also use a long lasting local anesthetic (Exparel) that helps keep patients comfortable through the first few days.  I am sure you will do just fine!

Larry Pollack, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Meds after Breast Augmentation if low pain tolerance?

Each surgeon will have a little different protocol. Like you, I feel strongly that patients should be comfortable so in addition to a muscle relaxant and strong pain pills we strongly recommend the use of a 4-day pain pump. About 75% of our patients choose that and they have a dramatically easier time than those who do not. After over 10 years of using pain pumps I have yet to see a downside. 

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

Low Pain Tolerance and Breast Augmentation

Thank you for your question about options for controlling discomfort after breast augmentation.  First, it is important to choose a doctor who utilizes good techniques in surgery.  Some surgeons cause less discomfort than others in doing the same procedure.

Exparel is an excellent, long-lasting local anesthetic which can greatly reduce your pain for the first few days.  Although expensive, your doctor can order this medication which is placed in the breast area at the time of your surgery.  It will greatly reduce discomfort.

A pain pump with local anesthetic is also an option.  Ask your doctor about the local anesthetic options.

Finally, narcotic pain medications do work.  Careful selection of the right medicine will make your recovery much easier.  Good luck!

Stephen Bresnick, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Breast Augmentation: Pain Management

Dear Ms. Smile2269,

Thank you for your questions and I understand your post operative pain concerns. 

Every Plastic Surgeon has his/her SPECFIC instructions and would defer to yours.

I personally inject the muscle with long acting local anesthetic and offer a non narcotic pain pump that drips local anesthesia into the breast pocket for 3 days. There are several different brands (On-Q is a common one).

I will add a muscle relaxant if the patient develops muscle spasms.

1)icing the breasts
2)start non narcotic (ibuprofen) and narcotic (percocette) for break through pain

1)start implant displacement exercises as pain allows
2)start "walking the wall with fingers"
3) displacement exercises:
5 x day
5 min
5 weeks
Until breast implant "seats"

-Remove non narcotic pain pump
-For those that do not have to use their upper body it is ok to return to work.
-Allowed to use upper body muscles as long as pain tolerated for next 6 weeks
-No high impact activities
-Wean off all narcotics
-Continue displacement exercises "5,5, 5" until implants "seat"

THIRD DAY to 6 weeks
-No high impact activities
-Continue upper body exercises as pain tolerated
-Back to work for those that require upper body use when no pain doing such
-Continue displacement exercises "5,5, 5" until implants "seat"

BEYOND 6 weeks
-no restrictions upper body (even if some pain)
-may start high impact exercises
-Continue displacement exercises "5,5, 5" until implants "seat"
-after implants seat then displacement exercises for 30 seconds 3 x day for life

I trust you have chosen a Plastic Surgeon who is a experienced and Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. In addition ideally he/she is a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (denoting by membership as having met additional criteria and a focus on Cosmetic Plastic Surgery).

My best wishes,
R. A. Hardesty, MD, FACS
Diplomate and Certified by the Am. Bd. of Plastic Surgery
4646 Brockton Ave
Riverside, Ca 92506
(951) 686-7600

Breast Augmentation

Thank you for your question.
Contact your surgeon to go over treatment options to reduce your pain and keep you comfortable. He or she does not want you to suffer either. Best of luck.

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.