Mommy Makeover pain management: What do you recommend to your patients before and after surgery?

Doctor Answers 6

Healing and Discomfort after a Mommy Makeover

Pain varies per person and medication to control #discomfort will be provided. Healing will continue for 2-3 months for the early period. This includes some swelling, bruising, malposition, color differences. Sensation in the breasts may also be abnormal and scars will be evolve. Tingling, burning or shooting pains in the breasts will disappear with time and should not alarm you. It is simply a result of the regeneration of your sensory nerves. If these sensations cause pain, repeated, local self-massage per your surgeon's permission may help.

Healing after a  #tummytuck will require time. Some patients are out of bed and walking the night of surgery and every hour while awake. I allow my patients to return to work at one to two weeks with 14 days preferred.  However, no lifting or straining.  At three weeks, increased level of activity and full with no restrictions, at 6 weeks.
As I advise my patients, if your work keeps you sedentary, you may return whenever you feel up to it. If your work is strenuous, wait until your work activity does not cause any superficial pain. 
Some employers will modify a person’s job duties so they can back sooner, but without physical activity. Our office can provide our patients with a note stating they are not to engage in strenuous activity for a specified period of time. The note will not disclose what procedure they have underwent. Therefore, you may have to request a similar note from your surgeon if you are not independently employed. I recommend avoiding heavy lifting and strenuous #activity for six weeks following your surgery. With that said, it may help you plan your return to work accordingly.

As for heavy lifting and other #strenuous #activities, it should be avoided for until you have clearance from your surgeon. You may, however, do normal activities at any time if they cause no pain or #discomfort. Let your body tell you what you can or cannot do. Aerobic exercise will raise your blood pressure, which could cause late bleeding and harm your result. Once you begin exercising again, start gently and let your body tell you what it can tolerate. Don’t rush!!  If you have concerns about your healing, or pain that you question to be unusual, it is important to call your plastic surgeon to discuss these further asked to be examined.


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

Mommy Makeover Pain Management.

Thank you for your question.  Our office takes post operative pain management seriously.  Our current protocol includes a pain pump, (with numbing medicine), that will instill the numbing medicine in the area for the first three days after abdominoplasty.  Patients typically move off the pain medicine to Tylenol after a few days.  We try to avoid ibuprofen and aspirin products for a couple weeks post op.  Each patient has their own pain tolerance. The procedure is usually well tolerated by our patients.  We also like ice packs for the first few days.   Best to talk to your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon as each surgeon will approach the operation and the postoperative management differently.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Mommy make-over pain management

Thank you for asking about your mommy make-over.

  • Excellent question - because a tummy tuck causes a lot of pain.
  • I recommend exparel - but most patients reject it because of cost ($1000).
  • With or without exparel, I prescribe dilauded, a muscle relaxant, a scopalamine path for nausea and Zofran.
  • I have not found pain pumps helpful.
  • I have patient take Acetominophen and ibuprofen as well.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Hope you found this answer helpful. Best wishes.

Management of pain after mommy makeover.

As with any operation postoperative pain management is tailored to the individual patient. Most patients need narcotics for only a couple of days. Afterwards anti-inflammatories generally offer enough pain relief. I personally do not use pain pumps as I think they are ineffectual.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Mommy Makeover

It is my pleasure to answer your question. I recommend pain killers in the post op period each eight hours for one week. In the pre op i don't prescribe medicine.

Aramis Vega, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Mommy Makeover pain management: What do you recommend to your patients before and after surgery?

Thank you for the question. The pain experienced after any given operation will vary significantly from one patient to another; for example, some patients need two to three days of postoperative pain medications; some patients require several weeks of pain medications. Much may depend on exactly what procedures performed, pain control measures taken, patients' pain threshold/personality characteristics…In our practice, depending on the specific situation, we utilize pain pumps, oral narcotics and muscle relaxants, as well as anti-inflammatory medications.

Since you considering undergoing a major operation which again involves a significant physical AND emotional recovery ( often underestimated by surgeons and patients alike), a few words of advice may be helpful:
1. Make sure you are doing the procedure for the right reasons (for yourself) and that you have realistic expectations. Be aware that an improvement in the “problem area” may not translate to an overall improvement in your life situation. You are bound to be disappointed with results of the procedure if your motivation for doing the surgery is not internally driven.
2. Time your surgery carefully; generally, it is not a good idea to have surgery done during or immediately after a stressful period in life (for example divorce or death of a loved one). The additional stress of surgery will undoubtedly be more challenging to deal with if a patient's emotional reserves our already exhausted. Remember, that an improvement in your physical appearance will not translate to an improvement in your life situation.
3. If possible speak to patients who have undergone similar procedures and query them about the toughest times of their recovery period. Any practical hints previous patients can provide may be very helpful.
4. Make sure you are aware of potential complications that may arise how to reach your surgeon if necessary.
5. Make sure you have a strong and patient support system (several people if possible) in place who have time/patience to take care of you. Arrange for professional nursing if any doubt exists regarding the availability and/or stamina of your caretakers.
6. Be patient with the healing process, understanding that it will take several weeks to months to feel “normal” again. It may also take many months/year to see the end results of your surgery.
7. Be prepared to distract your mind with things of interest such as books, magazines, and movies.
8. Expect less of yourself; do not go back to work, school or chores too early and let others take care of you (for a change).
9. Pick your surgeon carefully (a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon) and trust in his/her advice. Keep in close communication with your surgeon and do not hesitate to communicate questions/concerns and the emotional swings that you may experience.
10. Resume all medications that you were using preoperatively when cleared by your plastic surgeon and stop the use of narcotics and sedatives as soon as feasible after surgery.
11. Keep in mind the end results as you go through the tougher emotional times after your surgery.
I hope this, and the attached link, helps. Best wishes.

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.