Upon leaving the operating room, a support garment will be placed on you. This garment is to remain in place continuously for 24 hours after tummy tuck surgery, or as instructed by your doctor. After the first 24 hours, you may remove the garment to shower only. This garment is an essential factor in promoting a safe and comfortable post-operative period. The garment compresses the involved area to reduce swelling (edema) and help promote skin conformity. You are to wear this garment until instructed by your doctor. You must wear the garment continuously removing it for only short periods of time to shower. If you start to feel itchy due to the garment after several days, you may wear a cotton t-shirt and place the garment over it. This will help alleviate the itch.
During the first 24 hours after surgery, you will lay in bed with a couple of pillows propped up under your knees and head. After the first 24 hours you may gradually resume light and minimal activity. Walking straight is very important. Back pain will result due to walking bending down as it will also slow down your ability to recover quicker. Be as active and mobile as you possibly can. Lying in bed all day is not recommended.
Do not engage in any strenuous activities for first week after surgery. Exertion that elevates blood pressure can cause bleeding.
If you experience pain, please take your prescribed medications as directed. Remember to take it with food. Avoid Aspirin or any Aspirin related medications (Motrin, Advil, Naprosyn, etc.) for at least 2 weeks after surgery. REFER TO YOUR LIST OF MEDICATIONS NOT TO TAKE. These can cause bleeding. You may take Extra Strength Tylenol in place of your prescription pain medication. Keep in mind that pain medication may cause nausea.
You will also be sent home with drains which exit through the skin. These drains will be removed in the office when the amount of drainage is diminished. These drains may stay in for as long as seven days after your surgery. You will keep track of the amounts of fluids discarded from each drain separately so that prior their removal, the nurse and doctor have an idea the amount of drainage coming out. The color of the drainage fluid may range from a red to yellowish clear tint. Do not be alarmed by the color of the fluids. You may also leak fluid from around where the drain exits through the skin that is normal as well.
Drink plenty of fluids. It is easy to become dehydrated after surgery.
If you are discharged with an oral antibiotic, take through its full cycle as directed.
Call your doctors office immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms: Temperature above 101.8°F, shakes and chills, excessive bleeding from incision site/s, severe or sudden pain with a reddened swollen area which feels hard like a baseball and warm to the touch.
You may shower 24 hours after your surgery. Wash the incision sites with a mild soap and pat dry. You will notice Steri-Strips (surgical tape) over the incisions. These can get wet and will not fall off. They are placed to provide additional support. These will eventually fall off by themselves or be removed by the doctor on one of your post-op visits. Do not use alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or other topical treatments without first consulting with your doctor.
After having your Steri Strips (surgical tapes) removed, you may also notice one or a few blisters around your scar. This is also normal and may result from the Steri strips (surgical tape). We may apply a small amount of antibiotic ointment. The blisters will heal up shortly after a couple of days. During the healing phase, scars may also appear to be slightly raised and red. This is a normal appearance with any scar. After your second follow up visit, your doctor will give you the OK to start using Scarguard. This product is available in our office to speed up and improve the appearance of your scars. For more information regarding this product please feel free to ask our staff.
Swelling and or bruising throughout your abdominal area is normal and should begin to subside four to six weeks after surgery. Keep in mind that everyone heals differently and some patients may heal quicker or slower than the other, so please have patience during your recovery phase.
Avoid direct sun exposure to your scars for several months after surgery.
Please be aware that smoking or the use of unauthorized medications can lead to complications and jeopardize the results of your surgery.
Page Updated on Jun 9, 2023 by Dr. Shokrian (Plastic Surgeon) of Millennial Plastic Surgery
CONTENT DISCLAIMERThis site features content that's general in nature and is not intended to be relied on as medical advice specific to the situation you are in. This website does NOT offer direct medical advice, and self-diagnosis should not be undertaken based on information displayed online. This website is intended to provide viewers with a basic knowledge of the procedure, and it may feature content involving medical nudity. A personal consultation would be required to receive essential individualized information, including a comprehensive understanding of the available options, alternatives, and potential risks involved in a specific cosmetic surgery.