Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)
The following information is intended exclusively for Barrett Plastic Surgery patients. If you have had surgery by another surgeon, please follow up with that surgeon for your post-operative instructions. Congratulations on completing your surgery! Please reference these instructions over the coming weeks as you begin your recovery process.
A responsible adult must provide transportation for you after surgery (public transportation/Uber is not permissible).
A responsible adult must stay with you 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 increase your fluid intake and add more fruits to your diet.
Take all medications as instructed postoperatively.
Wash your face, hair, and body with antibacterial soap before coming into the office on the day of surgery.
Do not drive until you are no longer taking any pain medications (narcotics).
Do not consume any alcohol for 2 weeks after your procedure.
Do not smoke, as smoking delays healing and increases the risk of complications.
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 2 weeks 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 strong sunblock.
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.
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.
Fever of 101 degrees F or greater.
Pain is not relieved with pain medication.
Swelling, redness, bleeding, and/or foul drainage from the incision area.
Persistent nausea and/or vomiting.
You have not urinated for more than 6 hours after getting home from surgery.