Tummy tuck with Exparel results in less pain and discomfort during the initial stage of recovery. Exparel is a long-acting local anesthetic (Marcaine) that is injected into the abdominal muscle right before closing the incisions with sutures.
Dr. Tarick Smiley, one of the leading Los Angeles plastic surgeons, says Exparel can numb the treated area for up to four days, allowing his patients to rely less on postoperative narcotics that may cause vomiting, lethargy, nausea, and constipation.
Exparel is also more convenient than using pain pumps, which are external devices (resembling a small balloon) that slowly release numbing medications into the surgical site.
It makes sense to control the postoperative pain as studies have suggested that when patients feel less pain, they breathe and move easier, which is the key to quicker recovery. Nonetheless, they should remain cautious about their postoperative activities to prevent tear sutures and wound breakdown.
The general rule of thumb is to avoid rigorous exercise and heavy lifting for three weeks. After this period, most patients may gradually increase the intensity of their activities provided they do not experience pain or discomfort, and their surgeons give their go signal.
Exparel can also help control postoperative pain after breast enhancement surgery. It can be injected into the surrounding soft tissue or muscle layer or simply released into the implant pocket.
The only downside to the use of tummy tuck with Exparel is the additional cost, although most patients wouldn’t mind it as long as they have a comfortable recovery.