Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Tummy Tuck Recovery With Exparel

As a result, Exparel has been shown to provide pain relief for several days after surgery with just a single dose. Thanks to Exparel, Dr. Greenwald’s tummy tuck patients can get up out of bed sooner and resume daily activities earlier into their recovery than they would with traditional pain management medication.

Tummy Tuck Recovery With Exparel

Exparel is administered prior to starting surgery, while the patient is under anesthesia in the operating room. The medication is painlessly injected under ultrasound guidance in between the muscles of the abdominal wall.  This is technically called an ultrasound-guided transversus abdominis plane, or TAP block.  

Dr. Greenwald uses Exparel in conjunction with Celebrex (an anti-inflammatory agent), Neurontin (an agent used to treat nerve pain) and Tylenol as part of our Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) protocol. Patients who follow the ERAS protocol have experienced much less discomfort and narcotic use after their tummy tuck procedures. Many of our tummy tuck patients do not even require a single narcotic pill after their procedure!

Prior to recommending Exparel, Dr. Greenwald asks for a complete patient medical history. He needs to know about any pre-existing health conditions and current over-the-counter or prescription medications to ensure Exparel is safe for the patient.

Historically, tummy tuck patients have managed post-operative pain with intravenous or oral narcotic medications. However, there are drawbacks to these medications, including uncomfortable side effects that can keep patients off their feet longer than expected.

Recently, Dr. Greenwald and our team were pleased to discover that the use of Exparel®, a local, non-opioid anesthetic, has made tummy tucks much less painful and the recovery period significantly easier. We have begun to use Exparel for all of our tummy tuck procedures, and our patients have been thrilled with the outcomes.

What Is Exparel?

Exparel is an FDA-approved modified form of bupivicaine, a local anesthetic that has been in use since the 1950s. Traditional bupivicaine provides pain relief for six to eight hours. Exparel contains specially formulated bupivacaine that is released into the body slowly but consistently to prolong the numbing effects.

Exparel Shot For Tummy Tuck Reviews

For Pain “Great medication for me, used after tummy tuck. It didn’t take all of the pain away, nothing is going to do that after a surgery in my opinion, but it did significantly reduce my pain, thus allowing me to take less oral narcotic meds, not to mention no unnecessary opioid induced constipation.

Exparel (liposomal marcaine) is a long-acting anesthetic that is injected at the time of surgery to help with postoperative pain control.  We use it at InsideLookMD in Downers Grove, IL in our JCAHO-accredited facility for patients having a tummy tuck or any type of breast surgery.  Exparel can last up to 5 days having a local numbing effect where it is injected at the time of surgery.  This often results in less of a need for postoperative narcotics, and the associated side effects of narcotic usage (constipation, drowsiness, etc.).  Specifically for patients having a tummy tuck with a tightening of the abdominal muscle, the use of Exparel in these patients has allowed for earlier return to full activity and a faster recovery.  See this intraoperative video for how the injection is done.

We are all keenly aware of the risks of addiction associated with opioid usage.  Recent CDC studies have demonstrated an increased risk of addiction in patients who use narcotics beyond three days postoperatively.  Exparel is a non-narcotic with no addictive potential and reduces the need for postoperative narcotics.  I have been using Exparel for five years and the results have been remarkable.  Patients love the product and are amazed at its effects.

Exparel is expensive.  We purchase it for patients but there are additional costs with using it.  We typically charge an additional 300-500 dollars for use of the product depending on the areas we are injecting (breast or tummy tuck $300, mommy makeover $500).   Unfortunately, some hospital systems have restricted use of the product due to its high cost.  Fortunately for patients treated at our private facility at Inside Look MD, we can offer Exparel to any patients that want it.  This is a real advantage in terms of a better experience for patients having a tummy tuck or breast surgery.

Exparel Injection Tummy Tuck

As a result, Exparel has been shown to provide pain relief for several days after surgery with just a single dose. Thanks to Exparel, Dr. Greenwald’s tummy tuck patients can get up out of bed sooner and resume daily activities earlier into their recovery than they would with traditional pain management medication.

Experienced New York plastic surgeon Joshua Greenwald understands that many tummy tuck patients are concerned about post-operative pain management. Some are so nervous about pain or discomfort during recovery that they delay or avoid surgery altogether. Dr. Greenwald and our team do not feel that our valued patients should have to sacrifice comfort or peace of mind to look and feel more confident. We are continually looking for techniques and technologies to make the surgical experience safer and more comfortable for patients.

Historically, tummy tuck patients have managed post-operative pain with intravenous or oral narcotic medications. However, there are drawbacks to these medications, including uncomfortable side effects that can keep patients off their feet longer than expected.

Recently, Dr. Greenwald and our team were pleased to discover that the use of Exparel®, a local, non-opioid anesthetic, has made tummy tucks much less painful and the recovery period significantly easier. We have begun to use Exparel for all of our tummy tuck procedures, and our patients have been thrilled with the outcomes.

Exparel is an FDA-approved modified form of bupivicaine, a local anesthetic that has been in use since the 1950s. Traditional bupivicaine provides pain relief for six to eight hours. Exparel contains specially formulated bupivacaine that is released into the body slowly but consistently to prolong the numbing effects. As a result, Exparel has been shown to provide pain relief for several days after surgery with just a single dose.

Thanks to Exparel, Dr. Greenwald’s tummy tuck patients can get up out of bed sooner and resume daily activities earlier into their recovery than they would with traditional pain management medication. Furthermore, patients get the benefit of pain management without the need for a pain pump or another uncomfortable apparatus.

How Is Exparel Administered?

Exparel is administered prior to starting surgery, while the patient is under anesthesia in the operating room. The medication is painlessly injected under ultrasound guidance in between the muscles of the abdominal wall.  This is technically called an ultrasound-guided transversus abdominis plane, or TAP block. 

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