On Average, How Long Can I Expect Pain from Tummy Tuck to Last?

On average, how long does it take the pain of the muscle repair with Tummy Tuck to not feel as though you are being ripped apart when you cough?

I had a C-section almost 8 years ago, and a tummy tuck with muscle repair 7 days ago. I must say that the muscle repair is by far the worst pain I have felt, and I have been told that I have a high pain tolerance.

Doctor Answers 6

Less pain after a tummy tuck

Thanks to a new pain medication, Exparel, the pain from a tummy tuck is less and more controlled.  Exparel is placed at the time of surgery and allows for 3-4 days of pain relief without the need for a pain pump or narcotic pain pills.

Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Pain from tummy tuck muscle repair

IF pain control is any indication, it appears that most patients require more extensive medications during the first 7-10 days after which they taper their use until about 3 weeks.

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

Pain from tummy tuck

Most of the discomfort from a tummy tuck is from the abdominal muscle plication.  This usually improves by about 10 days to two weeks.

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

Recovery process after a tummy tuck

Tummy tucks are a very popular and effective technique to contour the abdomen. Patients who undergo this procedure should understand that there is a significant recovery process. Patients that undergo a tummy tuck require 10 to 14 days to recover before returning to work with the compression garments. Our patients tell us that the pain after tummy tuck is nothing like childbirth or a C-section. They also note that the pain can be controlled with Tylenol and a moderate pain control pill like Darvocet or Vicodin. We asked our patients limited lifting weights above 5 pounds for 4 to 6 weeks at which time they can return to the gym and exercise.

To learn more about tummy tucks, see photos, and help you decide which one is best for you, please visit us at the link below:

Pat Pazmino, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Tummy tuck recovery

The muscle tightening is the cause of 90% of the discomfort from a tummy tuck. I give my patients Valium to relax their muscles along with narcotic pain medications. Those with a high pain tolerance turn the corner after 4 days, are usually off all medications by 10 days and feel about 85% recovered at one month. It takes close to 3 months to feel totally recovered.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

This will vary and get better with time.

Tummy tuck surgery is one of the most rewarding surgeries performed in plastic surgery and has one of the highest patient satisfactions. However, it is definitely the most painful as well! The tightening of the muscle produces significant pain and may persist until the muscles are fully healed. This can be as long as three months or more and varies from patient to patient. It generally is worst for the first two weeks and then gets progressively better with time. I always use a pain pump for my tummy tuck patients which slowly drips pain medicine into the wound for three days. I also recommend the use of muscle relaxants like Flexeril post operatively.

David Rankin, MD
Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 163 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.