What causes the soreness and is this normal after sleeping during the night? What can I do differently? Feeling achy.

I had tummy tuck, liposuction on my flanks and love handles about 3 weeks ago and I am able to do walking now. I am a 50 year old female. I try to sleep in a comfortable position at night so when I awaken my muscles in my sides, legs, stomach and back and not sore that I feel like oil has to be added to them to get out of bed and moving. I get good sleep but can feel the tightness in those areas within 2-3 hers of me sleeping. I try to stretch in the morning, but feel whipped.

Doctor Answers 2

Soreness Post-Op

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Within a few hours following surgery, abdominoplasty patients will walk in a slightly bent-over position. Strenuous activity and lifting of more than 10 pounds should be avoided for six weeks after surgery. Most patients are able to return to work and daily activities within two weeks of surgery. You can return to full activity without restrictions at 6 weeks.

With #cosmeticsurgery such as #abdominoplasty, we have our patients start on vitamins and supplements two weeks before and two weeks after.  We prefer VitaMedica, as we know the content of these surgical support vitamins.  The program includes Arnica and Bromelain. 

Most patients will be placed in an abdominal binder, which they will wear the first week. There is usually a fair amount of swelling and the binder should be opened several times a day so that there are no pressure points. After the first 7 to 10 days the patient is placed in an elastic garment for compression over the next six weeks.

Swelling can persist for several months and will gradually improve and will look better at three months, six months, and even one year. Frequently the pubic area and the scrotal and penis area for men can become very swollen and discolored during the first two weeks due to gravity as this is the lowest area for swelling to accumulate. The best thing to do if you find yourself concerned about your level of soreness or swelling is to visit your surgeon right away to have the area examined.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

What causes the soreness and is this normal after sleeping during the night? What can I do differently?

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Thank you for sharing your question and congratulations on your procedure.  After a tummy tuck it is common for patients to experience soreness and stiffness in the hips, waist, and back region, normally as a result of maintaining a flexed position while sleeping to avoid pain at the incision site.  This develops as a result of muscle spasms and tends to resolve spontaneously once your skin laxity returns.  The stress of surgery will often cause you to be more easily fatigued, requiring additional nighttime sleep and even naps during the day.  This is quite normal.  Talk to your surgeon, they should be able to provide you with additional reassurance. 

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 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.