When Should I No Longer Feel Pain in my Abs After a Tummy Tuck with Muscle Repair? (photo)

I had a tummy tuck with muscle repair on 5/17/12. My doctor said that I could not do any ab exercises until I was 8 weeks post-op. I tried to do a simple crunch around 10 weeks post-op, and was almost in tears. Even now, at nearly 13 weeks post-op, I feel pain when I try to use my abs to get up out of bed, or even roll over. I feel like maybe things were tied too tight, but I'm not sure what is normal here. It still hurts to sneeze, cough or laugh a lot. Please help.

Doctor Answers 4

When Should I No Longer Feel Pain in my Abs After a Tummy Tuck with Muscle Repair?

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Each patient is an individual so in your case you are taking more time to recovery. I say if you are pass 6 months that it is an issue

Pain after tummy tuck

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Patients are vastly different in their recovery after surgery.

While we generally allow patients to resume vigorous exercise after 6 weeks postop, many are simply not ready.

Some patients seem to have virtually no pain after the same procedure that another patient reports as being very painful.

Certainly see your doctor to make sure you are healing well and haven't had a nerve issue, but there is a wide variation in patients' healing.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Long Term Pain After Adominoplasty

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Aesthetically, your tummy tuck looks great, but pain at 13 weeks post abdominoplasty is very, very unusual.  I don't believe that over tightening the rectus abdominus muscle would actually lead to pain.  I think there is a greater chance you have a nerve entrapped, and there are multiple non-surgical mechanisms for dealing with such a problem.  I would make an appointment to see your plastic surgeon and have him or her assist you in deciding on the next step.  A hands on physical diagnosis to include nature of pain, location, etc. would be very helpful in determining what the anatomic problem is, and therefore increase the change of an appropriate, probably non-surgical, treatment.


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From your picture, you have great results. In regards to the pain you should get checked out and examined to make sure there is nothing else going on. It does take time to get into normal routine. You should Start with stretching and work yourself up. Best Luck.


Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

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