Just How Painful is a Tummy Tuck?

Jean M.
on 1/3/08 5:13 pm
Revision on 08/16/12 with
I'm only partway through my weight loss journey but am researching an eventual tummy tuck.  A woman at my lap-band support group meeting said her TT was the most painful thing she's ever experienced, which scared me.  I've had a hysterectomy and a breast reduction and those were pretty damned painful.  What has your experience been? thanks, Jean
w8'n no more
on 1/3/08 6:06 pm - middle of, IL
DS on 10/21/05 with
I don't want to scare you but . . . I had ALOT of work done because I had multiple hernias.  Got a lot of stitches internally and a lot of mesh. Knowing what I know now I would definitely look into the ON-Q pain pump.  For me, it was worse initially than the DS surgery.  Of course, these things are always different for everyone.  I would definitely let your PS know your fear of the pain.
Surgery Date 10/21/05  Dr. Anthone
Aspire to Inspire Before You Expire!
on 1/3/08 7:06 pm - MS
At 2 weeks I ended up in the hospital for pain control but I didnt rest like I was supposed to. I had A LOT of inflamation. Just be ready for pain and a binder and compression garment. Just be ready to be able to rest and have help with everything even standing in the shower. Take care good luck and keep up the great work for your wls. Amy
on 1/3/08 7:13 pm - Macedonia, OH
hello! I too hate pain.  Am a BIG baby... Nov 6th I had a LBL, BL/BA .. and even though i was sore - it wasn't aweful.  I did have an On Q pain pump for 3 days, and took my percocet faithfully every 4 hours.  It was very tender to get in and out of bed.  I was very lucky to have my husband to be able to stay home with me for almost 2 weeks.   Judi

Judi  267(pre)/139(current)/155(goal) -128
LBL, BL/BA (330cc saline filled to 360cc) 11-6-07

on 1/3/08 7:14 pm - Mount Gilead, NC
The TT was not bad for me. I recovered much faster than the RnY. I only took pain meds while the drains were in about 8 days. After the drains came out I felt pretty good. Took off 3 weeks from work. Belinda


Anchor cut TT 9/27/2007

shannon d
on 1/4/08 4:05 am - MI
I am 2 mo PO from anchor TT and I will never have any more plastic surgery EVER!!  LOL  If you ask me would I do it over- I would say YES now- but int he beginning was horrible.  Not to scare you-  but it is totally worth it in the end.....' Good luck on what you decide Shannon












Lynne R.
on 1/4/08 4:09 am - Houston, TX
I had a tummy tuck/hernia repair, and the pain was minimal. He also did lipo on my thighs and it hurt like the dickens!!! I was more uncomfortable from the compression garment than the actual incision.


on 11/29/13 10:13 pm

Next month I'll be doing the same thing, could you please elaborate more and show pics of your Lipo on your thighs, before and after pics if you don't mind. I'm so nervous and scared of the pain 

Annette C.
on 1/4/08 4:54 am - Danville, IN
The only real pain I had was from the lipo'd areas.  The skin is loosened and the nerves are severed so there isn't a whole lot that isn't numb for months.  I didn't have any real "pain" from the surgery and only took tylenol once afterward.  I was a bit stiff and moved slowly at first but not in pain.  Besides, I like to be able to feel a little discomfort - it keeps me from overdoing things too soon.

I can eat as much as I want...I just don't want much.
I'm ashamed of what I did for a Klondike bar...

on 1/4/08 5:27 am - mcdonald, PA
i had a abdominalplasty with hernia repair done on dec 20...stayed over night in the hospital and home the next morning.  there was a tight feeling like a cinder block was sitting on my chest below my breasts for a week and it as hard to be comfortable but once the drains came out its like a whole other world....more normal.....sore sometimes get tired easily but i went back to work a week after i had it done ( i'm a medical biller and coder) and now i'm also working in the evening as a hostess.....so i think overall i bounced back quickly...i still have a few spots that are sore and sometimes when i turn sideways it hurts a little but its going to take time to heal and i'm not getting rid of my binder for a long time! in fact i may purchase a new one so i can was wash this one and rotate them...the support is great.
on 1/4/08 5:51 am - chester, VA
Hi jean, For me the TT was very easy, don't know why but I only took pain meds for 2 days and that was more for the breast then the tummy. I was scared about the pain but was happily suprizes it wasn't bad. Good Luck. Jackie
on 1/4/08 6:50 am - Bristol, RI
RNY on 06/14/06 with
I had a TT with LBL and a whole lot more - all at once and it was manageable.  It was more discomfort than anything.  The upper body work hurt the most and the lower body (TT included) was nothing.  I didn't use a pain pump, just took Vicodin during the day and Percocet at night. Remember if you had RNY you will likely not absorb the tablet/pill version of pain pills as well, so ask for the liquid version - it made a big difference in pain control for me. I'm 6 weeks out now and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Good luck ! Suzanne
06/14/06:    Laproscopic RNY.  Down 215 Lbs.    

11/19/07:    Lower Body Lift with auto-augmentation on buttock lift, Breast lift with Auto-Augmentation, extended brachioplasty with Axilla repair.

02/25/08:    Vertical Thigh Lift, Lower Face Lift, Fat Grafting.
Melissa P.
on 1/4/08 8:03 am - Aurora, IL
It hurts, but I did not have a on Q pump, and was fine on my oral meds. It hurt, but I was ok. I don't remember any days where I was in such pain that I couldn't move or anything. I was just tired.

Melissa Probst

Lisa Meyers
on 1/4/08 10:33 am
I'm thinking about having the TT, I'm not so worried about pain, but more about recovery time.  My PS says if I rest the two full weeks I will be able to return to work and walk up a flight of stairs to my office each day, morning and night.  Is this realistic?  Any tips for me? Lisa
on 1/4/08 4:17 pm - Candler, NC
RNY on 09/13/05 with
Lisa,    To answer your question about the TT.......I think it is realistic.  I had a TT with muscle tightening/BL/BA and could have gone back to work in two weeks........with limitations.  Of course no lifting.  I walked a little slowly and wore out easily,  but I could have gone back.  I am a teacher and had mine done during the summer, so I took my time!  I really thought I was going to be laid up for a month!  My PS also wouldn't let me sit for long periods of time (no more than five minutes) because of the restrictive blood flow, but I could lay down or stand all I wanted to.  He also didn't want me stretching things to stand up straight.  I had to wait until I was loose enough....which by two weeks I was.   It is always difficult to know how you will heal.  You will see on this board that no one is the same, but as far as being realistic........yes it is.  My tip would be to take it very easy for those two weeks and when you do return to work expect to come home and go to bed, your body will need the rest! Good luck!

    - minus 190 pounds!
July 3, 2007 - TT with anchor cut, BL/BA
December 14, 2007 - Brachioplasty, torsoplasty, lipo 
June 13, 2008 - Butt and Thigh Lift

on 1/4/08 8:57 am - Stanley, NC
I had the circumfrential tt (all the way around) with breast lift in June and the pain is mainly from the muscle tightening.  Feels like sore muscles, the incision pain is not bad because the nerves are cut.  I did have the On-Q pain pump for 3 days and then took the hydrocodone every 4 hours with an occasional Advill for the swelling.  I would do it again. I went back to work as a nurse in a pediatric office at 2 1/2 weeks with one drain still in and was fine.  I was scared to death and do not tolerate pain very well.  Just do everything your surgeon tells you to do.  Good luck.  Oh by the way I'm still a little sore if I sneeze or cough and still numb in alot of places. Gwen
on 1/6/08 6:02 pm - Anchorage, AK
Yeah, um, maybe I'm not the person to ask since I'm having a hard time but... it hurts more than anything else I've ever had done. I had my WLS done open, other surgeries such as my gall bladder out and an ovarian cyst removed and this has been by far the most painful thing I've ever had done. I'm 9 days out and still taking Vicodin and yeah, it's bad. OTOH, I also had a massive hernia repair done at the same time so take my experience for what it's worth. I'm hoping to someday tell you it's worth it but just now? I can't say that. I have to have faith, though, that I'll heal and someday I won't feel like such an invalid. Best of luck with your journey!
on 8/28/12 1:07 am
I had a tummy tuck about 3 yrs ago. It was a wonderful experience. I had very little pain and was up and walking two days later. The drainage tubes were the worst part. I stayed home for three weeks. I would love to post a pic of my results.
on 8/29/12 12:58 am - Newark, DE
DS on 07/26/10 with
I had a lbl two weeks ago and I have very little pain. I am very tired still though so take that in to account when planning for work and such.
SW 269    CW 135.6  GW 140    

on 6/20/13 10:16 am - NE

I just had my surgery 3 weeks ago. Not to scare anyone but it hurts worse then any other surgery i've ever had-and i've had alot, right down to a 12 hour back surgery. My daughter just had her TT done yesterday and i so wanted to tell her not to do it. For me the ongoing pain is just to much. I had lipo with it so the restrictive full compression wear along with the binder just add to the constant pain. I'm still taking pain meds constantly but they are of little help. It just hurts all the time, and at points I just sit down and cry wondering why I ever did this, I had planned on more getting down down the road as i could afford it, but after this horrible experience, my philioshpy now is that- i'm going to heaven the way God made me, no more painful surgeries-at least that I have control over. Just so everyone knows, other then this surgery, I've had about 10-12 others and never had this much pain and have always been known as popping back very easily and quickly. My advice, if it's not surgically medical-decide how much pain you're willing to forgo for this...that's all I can really say.