How to Eliminate Pain from Your Tummy Tuck Recovery
Our practice uses advanced technology to provide you with local anesthetic as you heal from your tummy tuck. This offers you a dramatically easier recovery and a significant improvement over the typical tummy tuck procedure.
A tummy tuck can help you get rid of the abdominal flab and loose skin that diet and exercise haven’t been able to touch. However, tummy tucks have a reputation for discomfort during recovery. In the past, I’d keep my patients in the hospital overnight so I could give them intravenous pain medication.
For the past 10 years, though, my patients have been able to go home after surgery, requiring only pills to manage any pain they may have. Many don’t even take the medication.
The reason: pain pumps. Specifically, local anesthetic pain pumps.
To understand how these work, we first need to discuss where tummy tuck pain comes from. Muscle tightening is the part of the tummy tuck that causes discomfort. The plastic surgeon has to suture the rectus abdominus (six-pack muscles) to tighten them.
Imagine someone lacing and pulling on the strings of an old-fashioned corset. Now imagine that you’re the corset. This process is really effective for flattening the abdomen, but you can understand why it hurts!
That’s where the pain pump comes in. The device includes a catheter the width of a string and a thick-walled balloon about the size of a baseball. During the procedure, I place the catheter along the muscles that have been sutured. One end of the catheter comes out through a tiny hole in the abdominal skin (I have yet to see one heal with a noticeable scar.) On the outside of your body, the catheter connects to the balloon, or pump.
I fill this pump with local anesthetic, and over a period of about four days, the anesthetic slowly moves from the pump through the catheter and to the abdominal muscles. The result is that your abdominal muscles are numbed by anesthetic during the most difficult part of your recovery. You feel little of the pain that people who have a procedure without the pump feel, and the difference is dramatic.
Now, you can have excellent results and a much more comfortable tummy tuck experience.