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Post Operative Instructions for Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

The following information is intended for only Dr. Barrett’s patients exclusively. If you have had surgery by another surgeon please follow up with that surgeon for particular details about your surgery.

Congratulations on completing your surgery! Please reference these instructions over the coming weeks as
you begin your recovery process.

 

GENERAL CARE

  • A responsible adult must provide transportation for you after surgery (public transportation/Uber is not permissible). 
  • A responsible adult must stay with you after your surgery and overnight until the morning following the procedure. If you are having several procedures, you may need or prefer assistance for 1-2 days following your procedure. 
  • Avoid making major decisions or participating in activities that require judgment for 24 hours after surgery. 
  • Get plenty of rest and follow a balanced diet. Decreased activity and pain medication may promote constipation, so you may want to add more fresh fruit to your diet, and be sure to increase fluid intake. 
  • Take all medications as instructed post operatively. 
  • Wash your face, hair and the body the day of surgery before coming to the office, with antibacterial soap.
  • Do not drive until you are no longer taking any pain medications (narcotics). 
  • Do not drink any alcohol for 2 weeks after your procedure.
  • Do not smoke as smoking delays healing and increases the risk of complications.

RECOMMENDED POST-OP PRODUCTS

  • Tummy Tuck Recovery Optimization Kit
    • Carefully curated by Dr. Barrett, each product is designed to complement the next and assist with giving you the opportunity to have the best recovery possible!

 

  • Tummy Tuck Scar Management Kit
    • Curated by Dr. Barrett, each product compliments each other, working together to give you the opportunity to have the best recovery possible.
  • HealFast Pre-Op supplements (Taken ahead of surgery):
    • Optimizes nutritional status prior to surgery. 
    • Take 4 capsules twice daily starting 5-days before surgery.
  • HealFast Post-Op supplements
    • Replenishes key healing nutrients and ingredients to control pain and inflammation. 
    • Take 4 capsules twice daily, starting 5-days before surgery. 
    • Benefits include pain relief, reducing inflammation, alleviating stress and eliminating insomnia. 
    • Start with ½-1 dropper underneath the tongue the night of surgery. 
    • Hold the oil under the tongue for 30 seconds before swallowing. 
    • Increase dose as needed. Do not exceed 4 full droppers a day. 
  • Arnica Recovery Complex
    • Speed healing time up to 50% allowing for faster recovery from bruising, swelling and pain. 
    • Take 1 capsule twice daily after surgery. 
    • Anti-inflammatory effects and reduce wound infections by 50%. 
    • Take 1 tablet per 25 lbs of body weight. For example, if you weigh 125 lbs then take 5 tablets. 
    • Reduce stress levels, sleep faster and deeper, maintain normal heart rhythm and build strong bones. 
    • Take 2 capsules nightly.
    • Increase absorption of key amino acids and certain vitamins, improve digestion and gut health, and faster muscle recovery. 
    • Take 3 capsules with every meal. 
    • A clinically tested scar cream and team favorite, Skinuva contains highlight selective growth factors combined with a silicone cream matrix.
    • Skinuva improves the appearance of scars nearly two-times better when compared to a traditional silicone cream.
    • Begin using 2-3 weeks post procedure, or after the incision site has begun to scab over. If you are unsure, please consult with the medical team during your pre-op appointments. 

FOLLOW-UP CARE

  • Shower 24 hours after surgery. Leave the steri strips on and pat dry with a clean towel. 
  • Remove the scopolamine patch from behind your ear after surgery, as it may cause blurry vision when worn for too long.
  • Apply antibiotic ointment to the belly button twice daily. 
  • Surface sutures are removed in 5-14 days.  
  • Keep incisions clean and inspect daily for signs of infection. 
  • Abdominal drains will be removed when less than 20 ml per day drains for 2 days. One drain will be removed week 1, and the other drain will be removed at week 2 post-op.
  • Wear your abdominal binder for 2 weeks after surgery. 
  • Keep steri-strips on for 6 weeks or as directed by Dr. Barrett. 
  • After 6 weeks, start the Skinuva scar gel twice daily, massaging firmly into the incisions. 
  • No baths, hot tubs or swimming for 6 weeks. 
  • Avoid exposing scars to the sun for at least 12 months. Always use a strong sunblock.

WHAT TO EXPECT 

  • Temporary pain, soreness, numbness of abdominal skin, and/or incision discomfort may occur.  
  • Maximum discomfort will occur in the first few days. 
  • Bruising and swelling of the abdomen may occur. The majority of bruising and swelling will subside in 6-8 weeks. Some swelling will persist for 6 months. You may feel tired for several weeks or months. 
  • You will walk slightly bent forward and gradually return to normal posture over the next 2 weeks. 
  • Scars will be reddened for 6 months. After that, they will fade and soften. 
  • The scar will extend from near one hipbone to the other, low on the abdomen. 
  • It is normal to feel a bit anxious or depressed in the days or weeks following surgery; but generally, after about a week, you should begin to feel better.

ACTIVITIES 

  • Walk around the house on the day of surgery and thereafter. 
  • Move/pump your legs frequently while lying down. 
  • Resume activities slowly. You may feel tired for the first few days. 
  • No lifting greater than 8 lbs (a gallon of milk) for 6 weeks. 
  • No sexual activity for 2 weeks and resume as comfort permits. 
  • Avoid straining of abdominal muscles. Strenuous core exercise/lifting is restricted for 6 weeks. 

Work may resume in 2-4 weeks. 

CALL THE OFFICE IF YOU DEVELOP ANY OF THE FOLLOWING: 

  • Fever of 101 degrees F or greater. 
  • Pain not relieved with pain medication. 
  • Swelling, redness, bleeding, and/or foul drainage from the incision area. 
  • Persistent nausea and/or vomiting.
  • Any other concerns. 
  • If you have not urinated after 6 hours of being home from surgery, please contact our office. 

If you do need to seek a hospital, please go to your nearest emergency room or call 911.

Dr. Barrett maintains hospital privileges at the following hospitals:

  • Providence St John’s Hospital in Santa Monica
  • Good Samaritan Hospital in Downtown Los Angeles
  • Southern California Hospital in Culver City
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