Tummy Tuck- After Care Instructions
It is important to be up and about after surgery and to take deep breaths. This helps avoid post-operative problems such as deep vein thrombosis.
Take your pain pills with a light snack. If taken on an empty an empty stomach, they can cause nausea. Take fiber (Metamucil) or a stool softener (Dulcolax) while on the pain medication, as the pain pills cause constipation. Stay on a soft diet for 2-3 days.
When in bed, keep your head elevated about 30 degrees and leave your knees slightly flexed.
Keep your drainage bulbs collapsed and record time and amounts of drainage over a 24-hour period. All patients heal differently according to many factors. Dr Camp will make the decision regarding drain removal and necessity of office visits. (Generally, the drains will be removed when the drainage is 30cc or less in a 24-hour period, which usually occurs in 7-10 days.) You may shower after drains are removed. Before that sponge bathe only. Make sure someone is with you at your first shower!
Wear a binder continuously for 7-10 days. You can take it off to sponge bathe after 3 days. (We will do the 1st dressing change in our office.)
You will have a surgical tape over your incision. This will protect the incision for 3 weeks. You can shower with the surgical tape in place. If you have sutures, they will be removed in 7-10 days
Please call Dr Camp immediately at any sign of infection which would be signaled by fever, increased pain, new redness or swelling in the abdominal area.
- Please do not drive for 7-10 days
- Do not lift anything heavier than 10 lbs for 3 weeks
- It is good to walk for 15-20 minutes 6 times per week
- Do not run, lift weights, play tennis, or golf for 3-4 weeks after surgery. (Keep your heart rate under 100 for 3 weeks)
- You may begin swimming 4 weeks post-operatively
Moderate swelling of your abdomen is to be expected. You may find that your clothes may not fit as easily as before. Be patient. The swelling will gradually subside and you will be back to normal in 3 to 6 months.
Because of the removal of tissue from your abdomen, there is a certain amount of tightness that is to be expected. This will slowly relax within 6 months.
Some suggestions to ease abdominal discomfort or indigestion after surgery:
- Drink a lot of water – 8 glasses a day!
- Drink warm liquids (tea or coffee)
- Prune juice mixed with 7-Up (half and half) for mild constipation
- If severely constipated use Miralax first as it is a mild but effective laxative. Use Phillips Milk of Magnesia, Colace stool softeners, and fleet enemas (regular or oil retention) as a last resort.
- Walking helps the circulation in legs and bowels.
It is important to be seen by Dr. Camp after your initial post-op checks. He will see you in follow-up appointments the day after your procedure and then at 1 week, 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 6 months and 1 year post-op. We will make these appointments for you.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE CALL DR CAMP
If you have questions or need immediate care, please call Dr Camp anytime on his cell. There is no such thing as a minor question. I would rather you call me than wonder and not do the right thing, so please call my office, or email me anytime.