Plastic surgery continues to increase in popularity. Some of the most common procedures performed include breast augmentation, tummy tucks, liposuction and nose surgery. With any surgical procedure, there will be some postoperative discomfort. The way a patient experiences their surgery depends on many factors:
- Your personal pain tolerance - Everyone tolerates pain differently. Some patients require almost no pain medication after surgery and get by on over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol. Other patients having the same procedure may require stronger narcotic pain medications for a period of days to weeks.
- The type or procedure you are having - Plastic surgeons perform procedures all over the body and each procedure can have varying degrees of discomfort associated with it. Typically, procedures that involve skin excision only such as eyelid surgery or even face-lifts have less discomfort. Other procedures such as tummy tucks and breast augmentations involve work on the muscles and therefore are generally associated with more discomfort.
- How active you are - We recommend patients take it easy after surgery and avoid any strenuous exercise for several weeks. If you are active too soon while you are healing, this can cause more discomfort in the short term. Pain is the body's way of telling you to "slow down and take it easy."
Managing Pain After Surgery: Pain Pump and Exparel
The first few days after surgery are usually the most uncomfortable. However, there are several options available to help with the discomfort by delivering local anesthetics directly to your surgical site.
The first product that has been available for over 10 years is a pain pump. The pump is carried outside the body in a little bag and delivers a constant amount of numbing medication into the surgical site through small tubes in the skin. This can last between 2-4 days after which the catheters are removed.
The second product is called Exparel. This product is a long-acting numbing medication that is injected at the time of surgery. This can provide postoperative pain relief for 2-4 days after surgery without the need of carrying a pain pump.
Both of these products have the advantage of taking the edge off the pain during the first few days after surgery. By the time the medication or pain pump wears off, most patients have recovered enough where there pain is manageable.
These medications are not available at all surgical facilities and hospitals. Be sure to check with your doctor and find out if a pain pump or Exparel is an option for your postoperative pain control.
At Finesse Plastic Surgery we strive to offer patients the best possible experience. We take our time during your initial consultation to develop a customized plan to meet your needs. During your procedure we will take the extra time to meticulously close your incisions to make sure you get the best scar possible.
Finally, we use the latest techniques and medications to ensure your comfort following your procedure. Call us today at (949) 272-2085 to learn more about whichever procedure you may be interested in.