Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

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Congratulations! Your surgery is over and you are now home recovering. After surgery, it is important to follow these postoperative instructions. This will increase the likelihood of an uneventful recovery and of achieving the results you desire. If you have any questions regarding these instructions or your recovery, please call Dr. Hein at (508) 875-7777. We wish you all the best and are always happy to hear from you.

ACTIVITY

  • The first week, you will need to rest. You may be tired. I suggest you walk around the house as much as possible but limit activity outside the house. You may be most comfortable walking partially bent over at the waist.
  • You will be most comfortable sleeping on your back with a pillow under your knees. Some patients use a recliner the first few days.
  • Avoid lifting more than 10 pounds for 4 weeks. Do not exercise for 4 weeks.
  • You may not drive until you are off narcotic pain medication and able to physically manage the car (steering wheel, brake pedal) comfortably.
  • Do not smoke; do not be near secondhand smoke.

DRESSINGS

  • You may remove your dressings after 48 hours; you may shower at that point.
  • Wear the abdominal binder to provide light compression at all times.
  • There is no need for sterile dressings at this point. Clean, dry gauze is fine, as are maxipads, if you are still having some drainage from the wounds.
  • Do not use a heating pad around the surgical sites. It could cause a burn.
  • If you have drains, record the drain output. If you have a pain catheter (OnQ pump), it can be removed when empty, usually on the third day after surgery.

DIET

  • You won't have much of an appetite for a few days, but try to drink plenty of fluids.
  • If you have nausea, stick to a bland diet and eat lightly until the nausea goes away.
  • Try to avoid getting constipated—laxatives and stool softeners may be helpful. Tapering off the narcotic pain medication as soon as possible is also helpful.

MEDICATIONS

  • Dr. Hein will prescribe a narcotic pain medicationfor you (usually oxycodone or hydromorphone). You should not drink alcohol or drive while on this medication. You should taper off of it as soon as possible.
  • You may take Tylenol and/or advil (motrin, ibuprofen, alleve, etc.) as well. Doing so will help you taper off the narcotic.
  • If Dr. Hein prescribed an antibiotic (this is unusual), you should take it until it is completed.