Post Operative Instructions

Consultations offered at our three convenient locations in Encino, Glendale and Bakersfield

To prepare for your tummy tuck recovery you need to follow Abdominoplasty Post Op Instructions given by your Plastic Surgeon. At the California Center for Plastic Surgery in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills Dr. Younai has these Tummy Tuck Care Instructions:

  1. Caretaker: You must make arrangements for a responsible and capable adult friend or family member to take you home after surgery. You are not allowed to drive yourself home or take a taxi. After surgery, this caregiver is required to stay with you, and to monitor and assist you, for at least the first 4 days after surgery. If you don’t have such a person please let us know in advance so that we can help you make arrangements to stay at an after-care facility or hospital. Sometimes it is possible to instead use a nurse’s aide to stay with you and help you during this time. Some procedures require that you stay in an aftercare facility after surgery. Discuss this in advance with your plastic surgeon.
  2. Ambulation: Rest as needed the day of and the days after surgery. You do not have to stay in bed. Gentle walking at home will help your circulation, so it’s good to walk around your room 5 times a day, from the first day. Too much walking is not good and will increase swelling. You can also move your legs and feet around when you are in bed. Early ambulation prevents formation of blood clots in your legs which can cause Pulmonary Embolism, which is the number one cause of death for people who have had a tummy tuck.
  3. Bent Position: You need to stay in a bent position for the first 4 days so not to stretch out your lower abdominal incision. Use pillows behind your back and under your knees to keep this position. You will also need to walk hunched over for the first 4 days. You can walk straight after the 4th day, but must keep pillows under your knees when you sleep.
  4. Breathing: Take deep breaths and cough in order to clear your lungs. If your abdomen hurts when you do this, then cross your hands over your abdomen and hold down when you take deep breaths.
  5. Smoking: You are strictly forbidden from any type of smoking or taking Nicorette gum or patches from one week prior to 4 weeks after surgery.
  6. Hydration: Make sure that you drink an adequate amount of fluids so that you do not get dehydrated. You should also monitor your level of hydration by making sure that you are urinating “light-color” urine at least every four to six hours. Drink Gatorade, Soda, Tea, and not juices.
  7. Urination: Make sure that you are able to urinate within three hours of your surgery, otherwise call your doctor.
  8. Diet: There are no dietary restrictions; however, you should refrain from eating greasy or acidic foods so that you do not get nauseated. For the first two days after surgery, you should only drink liquids with some bread or crackers, but no real food.
  9. Constipation: As you start to eat more, make sure that you are not getting constipated. Drinking fluids, and at times prune juice, to prevent constipation.
  10. Diabetes: If you are diabetic make sure to monitor your blood sugar level with a finger-stick or other usual means, three times per day, for the first 2 days.
  11. Medications: Do NOT take any Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, such as Aspirin, Aleve, or Motrin for the first two weeks because they cause bleeding. You can continue taking all your other medications except anti-inflammatory or diet medications. If you take an inhalant continue taking it immediately after surgery.
  12. Pain Medications: Take plenty of pain medications as directed every 4 hours after surgery, for at least the first 2-4 days.
  13. Wounds: For the first 24 hours after surgery you might have some blood-tinged drainage from surgical sites. This is expected. Do not remove your compression garment.
  14. Compression Garment: After surgery you will be placed in a tummy tuck compression garment or a surgical binder, which will be covering the affected areas. Do not remove the garment until the first post-operative visit. Keep the garment straight and make sure that they are not too tight or restrictive.
  15. Drains: You will have several drains tubes coming out of your incisions. These drains are attached to collection bulbs which need to be emptied as necessary. Make sure not to snag your drain tubes.
  16. Follow-up Visit: You will be seen for follow-up in 2-3 days after surgery. Prior to coming to the office you should remove all your bandages and take a shower. You may use any type of soap or shampoo. Avoid hot showers, but warm water is acceptable. After drying your body, also blow dry your umbilicus and incisions/taps with a blow dryer. Then wear a T-shirt and your compression garment on top of that. Continue showers and cleaning on a daily basis. Continue wearing your girdle at all times for the first 3 weeks after surgery and then only half of the day/night for a second three weeks.
  17. Massage: Start gentle fingertip and hand massage with Vaseline or thick lotion to the skin of the operated areas for 10min., three times daily, for three to six weeks.
  18. Exercise: Refrain from extraneous activities or exercising for the first two weeks. You cannot lift anything heavier than a grocery bag for 3 months after surgery. Although you can do gentle walking during this period. After about four weeks you can resume your exercise routine if you feel comfortable and strong enough.
  19. Driving: Most people are able to drive in about 7-14 days after surgery, but this can vary depending on the extent of your surgery and your general health. Do not drive if you are under the influence of narcotics, sedatives, or muscle relaxants.