Aesthetic surgery: is it painful?

Aesthetic surgery: is it painful?

Patients often ask « Is the surgery painful? »
There is an old saying « beauty is pain « , but this should no longer be the dictum. Great care is taken with pain and its management, including for aesthetic surgery.

Pain varies depending on the procedure

In reality, the answer to this question can be no pain, a little, or a lot.
For example, as regards face surgery, eyelid surgery does not hurt at all. After a blepharoplasty, discomfort may be felt with an eye that feels « tight » or « itchy », but there is no pain. For nose surgery, there may be a little difficulty breathing after a rhinoplasty as the inside of the nose will be edematous (and therefore swollen), like when you have a cold, but there is no real pain. However, for face and neck lifts, you may experience a very uncomfortable feeling of tightness in the first few days, as if you are wearing a scarf too tightly around your neck.
Regarding the body, breast reduction surgery weirdly does not hurt very much. You can feel some tightness around the scars of course, but plain analgesics are more than sufficient. However, breast augmentation or abdominal surgery, as well as liposuction, are rather painful procedures.

Adequate pain management

To limit post-operative pain, I inject local anesthetics during the operation (even with a general anesthetic) to ensure the post-op period is as comfortable as possible. In this way, when you come round the area operated on remains anesthetised for a few hours to ensure optimum comfort.

In any case, the anesthesiologist always prescribes the most suitable treatments pre- and post-op to ensure good pain management. It is essential not to let the pain set in post-op as it will then become very difficult to manage. For this reason, do not hesitate to take the treatments prescribed, at least for the first 3 or 4 days after the operation.

For silhouette surgery and breast surgery, compressing the areas operated on reduces the pain, which is why wearing a compression garment (panty or bra) post-op will help improve comfort in the areas operated on.

Schedule a suitable period of convalescence

In any event, it is better to schedule a period of rest after the procedure to have enough time to recover. For breast surgery and liposuction, it is better to schedule 8 to 10 days of convalescence before returning to a normal life. For an abdominoplasty, it is necessary to schedule 2 to 3 weeks to recover almost normal mobility.
For the face, it is not the pain (as it is not generally painful) that will dictate the resumption of socio-professional activities but the downtime linked to the marks (edema and bruises) of varying visibility for 5 to 15 days depending on the procedure.


Good pain management will thus ensure faster post-operative recovery.

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