Will I be in a lot of pain after an Abdominoplasty?

Pain is subjective and not everyone has the same threshold or tolerance level. After an abdominoplasty, a majority of patients do experience pain that continues to subside over 1-2 weeks. Oral pain medication is given to help alleviate any discomfort that my patients experience.  Most of the pain that patients feel is caused by the muscle/fascia repair that is often performed during the tummy tuck procedure.  Many people also complain of back discomfort, which is typically associated with the liposuction that is usually performed along with the abdominoplasty. To help control the pain, I strongly suggest limiting bending and twisting movements of the torso for at least the first two weeks after surgery.  Based on feedback from my patients, a raised toilet seat (to prevent the need to squat and bend at the waist) and a hand-held shower head can also be very helpful in limiting movement that may cause abdominal pain.

Please remember that bruising and swelling are normal and will subside within 1- 2 weeks. Also remember that discomfort and tenderness are also absolutely normal and can easily be controlled with medication. Numbness to the area of the abdomen may last as long as 6 months to 1 year. so there is no need for concern.  A compression garment must be worn for 3-4 weeks after surgery.

Most of my patients return to light activity within 1 day after surgery, and return to work in 1-2 weeks after surgery.  Full physical activity may resume within 4-6 weeks.  Please note that incision lines will continue to heal and refine for 1 year after the abdominoplasty.