One of the things often holding patients back from getting plastic surgery is the fear of postoperative pain. Patients often fear that cosmetic surgery is painful, prompting many of them to avoid it altogether. Although all procedures generally cause pain, cosmetic surgery being no different, there are steps you and Dr. Jejurikar can take to lessen the pain you experience with surgery.
- Direct injection of local anesthetic agents into surgical site; this is particularly helpful for body contouring (tummy tuck, body lifts) and breast surgery (breast augmentation, breast lift, breast reduction). These have long been recognized to provide significant pain relief to patients. As part of the trend to provide longer pain relief to patients, for years, many surgeons utilized long-acting local anesthetic pain pumps to help relieve postoperative pain. These often had problems associated with them, including inadequate pain relief and delivery of too much or too little product. Recently, a 72 hour version of the local anesthetic bupivicaine (Exparel) has been introduced on the market. Direct injection of this product into the surgical site can provide significant pain relief and holds much promise for the future.
- Muscle relaxants – In addition to standard pain medication, use of strong muscle relaxants for the first 7-10 days after surgery can diminish the muscle cramping often seen with breast surgery (particularly breast augmentation) and body contouring surgery (tummy tuck, body lifts).
- Compression – tight compression of the surgical site with an elastic garment can significantly lessen the pain associated with liposuction, tummy tuck, breast augmentation, breast lift, and even face lift.
- Narcotic pain medication – although certainly reasonable to fear addiction with these medications, judicious use in the period immediately after surgery can provide significant comfort to most patients.
- NonSteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents (NSAIDs) – Although these agents can cause bleeding, they are potent anti-inflammatory agents and pain relievers. These include medications such as Motrin (ibuprofen) and Toradol. Check with Dr. Jejurikar’s office to see when you can take these after surgery.
Although there is no panacea to cure all pain associated with plastic surgery, Dr. Jejurikar can take steps to lessen your pain tremendously. For more information, or to schedule a consultation, contact his Dallas office at 214-827-2814.