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Researchers Find New Method to Minimize Tummy Tuck Pain, Recovery Time

Tummy tuck surgery is an extremely rewarding plastic surgery procedure that can help both women and men with loose abdominal tissue and the dreaded stomach “pooch” reclaim their confidence.

But the tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, procedure has historically been associated with a lengthy and uncomfortable recovery period that may prevent some patients from seeking this life-changing surgery.

Today, recent research has revealed a new pain management technique that, when used after tummy tuck surgery, reduces pain and recovery time after a tummy tuck and eliminates the need for long-term use of narcotic pain medication and inconvenient pain pumps.

The new and improved pain management technique uses nerve blocks, or long-acting local anesthetic injections placed precisely along an area where the back and side meet. These nerve blocks do just what they imply—they dull the nerves in the area affected by the tummy tuck procedure to temporarily control pain.

In addition, improved pain management also makes it easier and safer for plastic surgeons to perform a tummy tuck at the same time as other surgical procedures. This can be very helpful for patients who desire a mommy makeover, which restores upper body contours after pregnancy and includes breast lift and sometimes breast augmentation procedures.

Study results recently released by Dr. Lu-Jean Feng showed that patients who had a combination of nerve blocks in conjunction with tummy tuck surgery instead of typical pain management methods reported the following:

  • Less time spent in the recovery room
  • Less pain initially after tummy tuck
  • Less pain after the first week of recovery
  • Decreased use of narcotic pain medication
  • Decreased nausea
  • Faster return to driving and normal activities
  • Less time required to reach a pain-free state
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