The following are general guidelines for post-op care after abdominoplasty. Click on available links for more detailed information. If you cannot find the information you need, please feel free to call the office at 312-266-6240 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. After surgery, you will have dressings in place on the abdomen with an ace wrap or abdominal binder around you.
The ace wrap/binder should be worn 24 hours a day as tolerated until your first follow up appointment. This garment can be removed for showering. You may remove the gauze dressing 24 hours after surgery and then shower. Keep the steri strips in place.
The pain pump can be kept in place during showering, and should be removed usually 2-3 days after surgery when the inner balloon appears empty. For tips on showering and wound care, click here.
Swelling & mild bruising along the abdomen are normal after surgery and will gradually subside over the next several weeks. Bruising at your flanks or hips is also normal; this is an area in which liposuction was performed.
You will be prescribed medications (usually prescription pain medication) after surgery. We also recommend you take a stool softener while taking pain medications to avoid constipation.
You may resume your normal diet.
You may resume normal daily activities the day after surgery. Walking is encouraged immediately after surgery and can help improve fatigue. Exercise that raises your heart rate and blood pressure should be avoided for 2 weeks post-operatively. Do not lift anything that requires straining for two weeks. You may resume aerobic exercise (bike riding, aerobics, etc) two weeks after surgery. Avoid abdomen specific exercises until 6 weeks. All types of exercise are permitted after 6 weeks.
You may resume driving when you are no longer taking narcotic pain medication during the day and you are able to sit comfortably behind the wheel and perform all motions necessary for safe driving. Always wear a seatbelt while in a car; use a pad or pillow on your abdomen if necessary for comfort.
You may find it more comfortable to sleep with 2-3 pillows under your knees to help relieve the tension on your abdomen.
Average return to work time is around 1-2 weeks depending on the level of activity required by your job.
Contact the office if you develop fever of 101 or higher, severe pain that is not responding to pain medication, continually increasing swelling, spreading redness, or if the incisions open.