Why Don’t Tummy Tucks Hurt As Much As They Used To?

May 10, 2021 | Body, Body Contouring

The tummy tuck procedure (scientifically known as abdominoplasty) has become a standard of excellence in body contouring as an alternative to traditional liposuction. For the past two decades, a growing number of patients have chosen tummy tucks to regain the firmness and contour of their abdominal area and tighten abdominal muscles, leading to procedure demand growing by 97%.

While this procedure’s benefits have always been more than tempting, some patients opted for different body contouring alternatives because of the tummy tuck’s pain levels and extended recovery time. However, that is a thing of the past. In 2012, the medical field announced the arrival of an anesthetic ready to reduce pain levels associated with tummy tucks both during and after surgery – EXPAREL®.

Here at the Vinyard Institute of Plastic Surgery, Dr. William J. Vinyard, MD, FACS, saluted the release of EXPAREL® on the market and quickly added it to his arsenal of tools to make the tummy tuck a go-to body-contouring procedure. With positive results from scientific studies, EXPAREL® is here to transform your tummy tuck experience into a pleasant journey. For that reason, we’re taking a moment to help you learn more about this anesthetic and how it can improve your tummy tuck experience.

What is EXPAREL®?

EXPAREL®, or bupivacaine liposome injectable suspension, is a local anesthetic that physicians employ to relieve postoperative pain after specific procedures. It provides either local pain relief (when injected around the edges of a surgical wound) or regional pain relief (when injected around specific nerves). Unlike opioids or other narcotics, the effects of EXPAREL® are limited to the treatment area only.

How Does EXPAREL® Work?

The idea behind EXPAREL® is to deliver lasting pain relief over a long time without any follow-up doses. For that reason, it contains bupivacaine, an anesthetic that temporarily numbs the treatment area by stopping pain signals from reaching the brain. 

To provide lasting pain relief, tiny fat particles called liposomes enclose the bupivacaine, releasing it over a more extended time and prolonging its anesthetic effect. That is the reason why patients receive only one dose of EXPAREL® without any follow-up treatments.

Are There Any Side Effects Related to EXPAREL®?

The medical field underwent several clinical trials to ascertain the side effects of EXPAREL®. In a study published in 2015, a team of US researchers concluded that the common side effects of this anesthetic were nausea, pruritus, and constipation. However, these side effects are considered mild in comparison with other anesthetics and can quickly be relieved with over-the-counter medicine. 

As with any type of medicine, EXPAREL® is better suited for specific patients. For example, patients who show signs of hypersensitivity to any of EXPAREL®’s ingredients cannot be treated with this anesthetic. During your complimentary consultation, Dr. Vinyard will review your medical history and decide whether EXPAREL® is right for you. 

Is EXPAREL® FDA-Approved?

Before its 2012 release on the market, EXPAREL® went through extensive clinical testing to receive its FDA approval, a standard of safety as a postoperative analgesic. Ever since, because of its superior results and safety standards, the FDA has approved EXPAREL® for several other uses and treatment areas.  The effectiveness of this anesthetic shows in the number of treated patients as well: more than 3.5 million patients have been treated with EXPAREL® in the US alone.

What Do Patients Think about EXPAREL®?

EXPAREL® brings postoperative recovery to a whole new level, allowing patients who undergo procedures such as tummy tuck to recuperate at a much faster rate. Unlike traditional tummy tuck recoveries, patients can say goodbye to pain medication and resume their day-to-day activities sooner, with more time to enjoy their desired results.

Numerous patients, who took it upon themselves to share their experiences with EXPAREL®, proving its effectiveness, share our views:

“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. I’d say it was super helpful!” Addy.

“I had a tummy tuck and heard about this drug to help with recovery. It certainly made the first 72 much more bearable. I paid an additional fee of about $300 for Exparel. It was a very good decision. I had no side effects. I prepared to be in agony and wasn’t at all. Those 3 days post op can be the worst days. Exparel is a miracle.” MissVicki.

Beginning Your Own Tummy Tuck Journey at VIPS

Have we convinced you to start your own tummy tuck journey? Our VIPS team is here to assist you. With our experienced medical team and state-of-the-art technology, we are sure to transform your tummy tuck procedure into a pleasant experience, from the preoperative consultation to your desired results! 

Furthermore, we offer financing options for those who think more about a stunning abdomen and less about financial aspects. Make sure that you discuss these options with Dr. Vinyard during your complimentary consultation. 

Do you live outside Port St. Lucie, FL, and you find travel plans a hassle? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Since we want our patients to enjoy an authentic VIPS experience, we can help set up arrangements for those who intend to travel from out of town for their procedure.

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We’re more than excited to get to know you and help you gain the results of your dreams! Are you ready to begin your VIPS experience? Contact us and schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr. Vinyard today.

Links:
https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/medicines/human/EPAR/exparel-liposomal
https://www.exparel.com/patient/faq

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