May 02 2017

How Much Pain Should I Expect after Plastic Surgery?

A woman squeezing the skin of her buttocksBody contouring and other plastic surgery procedures can help enhance your appearance to improve your confidence and self-esteem. When considering plastic surgery, many patients are concerned about the extent of pain they may feel after surgery. The truth is that pain will vary from patient to patient, but there are ways to manage and alleviate pain during recovery. To discuss your concerns about pain after plastic surgery, schedule a consultation with Toms River, NJ plastic surgeon Michael David Rosen.

What to Expect in Terms of Pain after Plastic Surgery

Pain is one of the most common side effects of plastic surgery and should be expected to some extent after undergoing a procedure. Fortunately, advances in plastic surgery techniques and tools have greatly reduced the amount of pain experienced during and after surgery. With that said, it is important to understand that some amount of pain or discomfort should be expected no matter what plastic surgery procedure is performed. Just how much pain or discomfort occurs will vary among each patient and can be affected by such factors as:

  • The type of surgical procedure performed: Some procedures are more invasive than others, making them more painful. For instance, a tummy tuck is generally more painful than eyelid surgery.
  • The number of procedures performed: Having more than one surgical procedure performed can make recovery more painful.
  • Personal pain tolerance: Each person's pain tolerance is different, causing each person's perception of pain to vary even when the same procedure is performed.
  • Location of surgery: Some areas of the body are more sensitive than others, which can cause more pain after surgery.

How Long Does Pain Last after Plastic Surgery?

The exact amount of time each patient should expect to feel pain will vary based on factors such as the type of surgery performed, the number of procedures performed, and personal pain response. Thankfully, pain after plastic surgery will resolve as the body heals. In many cases, pain is typically greatest in the first few days of recovery but substantially subsides after about a week. Residual pain may continue but should begin to lessen as the weeks pass.

Managing Pain after Plastic Surgery

Regardless of the type of plastic surgery performed, patients are given options to help manage any pain they may feel during recovery. Patients are often prescribed pain medication to help alleviate discomfort and ease pain. Over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen, may also be taken if approved by a physician. Other ways to help alleviate pain include:

  • Apply an ice pack for 15 minutes at a time
  • Elevate the area that was operated on
  • Use pain medication as prescribed
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Avoid strenuous activity
  • Distract yourself from pain by watching your favorite movie, reading, or doing some other relaxing activity

Get Answers to Your Questions about Plastic Surgery

If you have more questions about what to expect during or after plastic surgery, you're encouraged to contact Dr. Rosen to learn more.

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Michael Rosen, MD

Phone: (732) 240-6396

Address: Toms River Office 1114 Hooper Ave
Toms River, NJ 08753

Phone: (732) 741-7774

Address: Eatontown Office 26 Main St
Eatontown, NJ 07724