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Tummy Tuck Pain Management

How to Manage Pain After a Tummy Tuck

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Updated August 05, 2012

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Pain Management After Your Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is performed to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen, as well as to tighten the underlying muscles when necessary. Here's what to expect in terms of tummy tuck pain.

  • Your greatest discomfort will be within the first 24-48 hours after your surgery. Take your pain medication as prescribed. Take the pain medication with crackers, toast, soup, or liquids to avoid nausea that can occur on an empty stomach.

  • Avoid aspirin, Ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, Aleve, etc. for two weeks after your surgery. These medications have a tendency to increase drainage and bruising.

  • The compression garment will help ease some of the pain by offering support. This also helps to provide some comfort and reduces swelling of your abdomen. Because you will experience some loss of sensation/feeling in the abdominal area, avoid making the binder too tight, as this will reduce blood flow to the area.

  • Do not use hot or cold water bottles/compresses. You will experience some loss of sensation or feeling of your abdomen. As a result, you will not be able to discern if your abdomen is too hot or too cold, which could result in burns or frostbite, respectively.
More About Tummy Tuck Recovery:
  • How to Care for Your Abdomen and Incision After a Tummy Tuck
  • Activity After Tummy Tuck Surgery

  • Recovery After Other Plastic Surgery Procedures:
  • Recovery After Plastic Surgery - All Procedures
  • Sources:

    Aly A. Abdominoplasty and Lower Truncal Circumferential Body Contouring. In Thorne CHM, Beasely RW, Aston SJ, Bartlett SP, Gurtner GC, Spear S, eds. Grabb and Smith’s Plastic Surgery, 6th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 2007.

    American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Tummy Tuck Recovery. Accessed May 22, 2011.

    Shestak KC, Fedele GM. Abdominoplasty. In Evans GRD, ed. Operative Plastic Surgery. New York: McGraw Hill, 2000.

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