Is Tylenol 3 enough after a tummy tuck & lipo?

Getting a tummy tuck in 2 weeks. I am extremely sensitive to Vicodin and percocet. I am wondering if Tylenol 3 would be effective enough to help deal with the pain? I take TY3 whenever I have major dental work and it works great but I realize this is different. Or has anyone used Demerol in pill form for pain who is sensitive to Vicodin&percocets? Any answers are helpful!!

Doctor Answers 10

Pain Control

It depends on the patient. Some patients are very tolerant of pain and need very little and other need a lot of pain control. You may kind of know who you are in that department but nobody can really tell you if that is enough. You will know when you get there. 


Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Is T3 enough after TT

Thanks for your question. Post op pain is quite variable among patients. Also Pain is very subjective. You may ok w T3. No way of knowing until you try. Is your surgeon using a pain pump? That also help with post op pain.  Good luck. 

Mehdi K. Mazaheri, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

There are many more options available.

oral Demerol and oral Dilaudid are certainly options. There is another medication called Nucynta that works about as well as Percocet but is not related to codiene. Speak your surgeon about it and good luck. 

Robert S. Houser, DO
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Pain control for tummy tuck?

Thank you for this important question. In my patients, who are sensitive to certain narcotics, I prefer to use a multimodal approach to target pain receptors from different directions. My preferred method would be to employ a long lasting local anesthetic (Exparel) to reduce pain sensation significantly. This medication can reduce pain pill usage by 50%. Another strategy is for the patient to spend the first night at the surgery facility and treat any discomfort with small doses of fast acting IV narcotics (hydromorphone or morphine). Using a muscle relaxant will also assist in improving the pain experience. Another consideration is a short dose of a Cox-2 inhibitor which typically does not increase the bleeding risks and leads to reasonable pain control. Finally, demerol is an option, but has more side effects and is potentially more addictive than some other narcotics already mentioned. I certainly hope this helps, Dr. ALDO :)

Aldo Guerra, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 190 reviews

Is Tylenol 3 enough after a tummy tuck & lipo?

Thank you for sharing your question and congratulations on your decision to pursue a tummy tuck.  Though each patient has a different pain threshold, Tylenol 3 will be a bit light for most patients to be comfortable after surgery.  If you are particularly sensitive to narcotics, I would speak with your surgeon about using Exparel.  This is a long acting numbing medicine which has been shown to reduce the need for prescription pain medication for up to 72 hours after surgery.  Hope this helps. 

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

Post op pain after abcominoplasty

I have prescribed many many types of pain meds after abdominoplasty and the requirements differ from patient to patient. Lately, the best adjunct for pain relief has been the injection of Exparel. It last for about three days and works like a low dose epidural that is used in childbirth. It significantly decreases the patient's desire/need for narcotics  and we use it with both tummy tucks and breast surgery. It is a bit price (~$450) but it is well worth it. 

Is Tylenol 3 enough after a tummy tuck & lipo?

There are multiple postoperative pain control options that exist and your surgeon should be able to keep your pain controlled.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Analgesics after major procedures

can cause reactions.  If your problem is nausea/vomiting with Percocet, there is Nucynta (not generic so pricey) or you could go with your Tylenol with codeine and supplement with the regular use of anti-inflammatories.  Realize that prescriptions that require triplicates are hard to get after hours so is always best to have the strongest one you can tolerate.

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

Is Tylenol 3 enough after a tummy tuck & lipo?

Thank you for the question. 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.  Best wishes.

Tylenol 3

Every patient is different so when it comes to pain tolerance the same applies.  You should speak to your surgeon and let him know your concerns.  *

N. Bill Aydin, MD
Paramus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 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.