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BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTOS

SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION

CARE AFTER SURGERY

 

 

Getting Back To Normal

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  • Avoid straightening your hips fully. Walk in a stooped position to reduce tension on the abdomen.
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  •  You can take stairs, but with assistance.
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  •  At night, be sure to keep your hips flexed and sleep on your back (“supine”), not on your side. A recliner works. Otherwise, use several pillows under your upper body and tuck one under your knees.
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  •  The suction drain needs to be emptied when it is about one-third to one-half full. After emptying, be sure to squeeze the bulb when closing the valve. The bulb should stay collapsed. This indicates that it is creating the suction needed to draw fluid off the abdomen. Don’t be surprised if you have to empty it several times the night after surgery. This is normal. Although it looks like a lot of blood is coming out, it is mainly fluid (not much blood is needed to turn the fluid red). The drainage typically slows down after the first 24 hours.
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  •  You should be getting up to urinate every 3 hours or so. Be sure to drink adequately to stay well hydrated. These trips to the bathroom are also helpful to get you up and moving. This helps prevent blood clots from developing in your legs.
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  • Your tummy will feel very tight. This is normal.
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  • Sometimes there is some blood-tinged drainage around the drain tube. Simply tuck some gauze in to absorb it and confirm that the suction drain is working. Be sure there are no kinks in the tubing and the bulb is collapsed.
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  • You can unzip the garment (if you are wearing a girdle) partly at the top if it is digging in to your sides. If the garment is uncomfortably tight in the inner thighs, you can cut the margin to relieve any uncomfortable constriction. Similarly, if the garment is too tight at the knees, it can be cut to release any tourniquet effect, although this is rarely necessary.
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  • Some bloody drainage into the dressing and through to the garment is normal after surgery. However, if this increases, or if the dressing becomes saturated, notify the office.
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  • You will be seen the day after surgery in the office. The dressing will be removed. When you go home you can bathe later that day, or at the latest, the next day. It is okay for the tummy to get wet. Just put the drain over the edge of the bathtub or hold it in the shower.
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  • Be careful when you take off the garment. You may feel light-headed at first. It is best to take off the garment and then sit for several minutes before standing. This allows your body time to adjust to the new position. If you feel faint when standing, immediately lie down, even if this means lying down on the bathroom floor. Much better to lie down than fall down. The lightheadedness will go away. Don’t try to fight the faint feeling. Give in and lie down. This is typically important the first few days after surgery. Later on, this is usually not a problem.
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  • Keep a layer of gauze between the drain tube and the skin when you have the garment on. This will avoid an indentation which could possibly leave a mark.
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  • Sometimes the tightness of the abdomen can cause heartburn. An antacid can help.
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  • Don’t be surprised by swelling above the level of the garment. It is not possible to provide compression over the upper abdomen, because this might restrict breathing. Don’t worry, this swelling will go down and you will not be left with a ledge over the top of the garment.
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  • Bruising usually occurs in the flanks and back due to the effects of gravity.
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  • Usually the discomfort is in the flanks and back and caused by liposuction, which is usually performed simultaneously with the abdominoplasty.
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  • Wash the garment and then dry in a no-heat dryer. Keep the bottom of the garment, at the knees, partially zipped up so the garment does not get completely tangled up in the wash.
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  • Avoid any activities that stress the abdominal muscles.
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  • Avoid taking too many painkillers. A side effect is nausea. It is very uncomfortable to vomit after a tummy tuck. So don’t take more than two tablets every 4 hours. You can take one and a half painkillers or substitute a Tylenol for the second painkiller. It is important to treat pain, but avoid overtreatment which can produce nausea.
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  • Most of the sutures dissolve. The belly button sutures are typically removed about 2 weeks after surgery. The Steri-Strips along the abdominoplasty incision are left on for about a week, but don’t worry if some of them come off sooner. You can take the Band-Aids off the liposuction incisions when you first bathe after surgery (or sooner if any are saturated). Usually, you don’t need to replace these, but if there is any drainage go ahead and put on another Band-Aid.
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  • There will be swelling above the garment, where there is no compression, and along the lower abdomen. This swelling along the incision line can feel very firm. Gradually it softens. It takes a few months for this swelling to go down and for the tissues to feel soft again.
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  • The pubic area will be swollen and may be bruised. This is from liposuction (if this area is treated) or just from fluid and blood settling after the abdominoplasty. Even the labia (or scrotal area in men) can be swollen and bruised. Don’t be alarmed by this.