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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- An abdominoplasty is surgery to remove fat and skin from your abdomen (stomach). This surgery is also called a tummy tuck. As you gain weight or become older, your skin and muscles stretch to make room for new fat. During an abdominoplasty, your caregiver removes this fat and any extra skin. He may also tighten your skin and the muscles of your abdomen. You may want to have an abdominoplasty if you have extra fat on your abdomen. You may also want an abdominoplasty if you have extra skin after losing a lot of weight.
- Your caregiver may do another surgery or procedure when you have your abdominoplasty. This may include liposuction to help remove extra fat. If you have a hernia, you will need to have it repaired before your caregiver finishes your abdominoplasty. A hernia is a bulging of an organ or body tissue through your abdomen muscles. With an abdominoplasty, your abdomen may look slimmer. Your abdominal muscles may become tighter and stronger. You may have an easier time fitting into clothes. You may also feel better about the way you look.
Take your medicine as directed:
Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why you take them. Take the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists.
- Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria. Always take your antibiotics exactly as ordered by your primary healthcare provider. Do not stop taking your medicine unless directed by your primary healthcare provider. Never save antibiotics or take leftover antibiotics that were given to you for another illness.
- Anti-spasm drugs: This medicine may help your muscles stay relaxed. This medicine may also help you feel calm and sleepy.
- Blood thinners: This medicine helps prevent clots from forming in the blood. Clots can cause strokes, heart attacks, and death. Blood thinners make it more likely for you to bleed or bruise. Use an electric razor and soft toothbrush to help prevent bleeding.
- Pain medicine: You may need medicine to take away or decrease pain.
- Learn how to take your medicine. Ask what medicine and how much you should take. Be sure you know how, when, and how often to take it.
- Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine. Tell caregivers if your pain does not decrease.
- Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling someone when you get out of bed or if you need help.
- Steroids: This medicine may be given to decrease inflammation.
- Stool softeners: This medicine makes it easier for you to have a bowel movement. You may need this medicine to treat or prevent constipation.
Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:
For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.
- Your caregiver will look at your cuts to see if you are healing well. He may remove your stitches or staples. If your wound has drains, they may need to be removed. Tell your caregiver if you have noticed any redness, pain, or swelling.
Ask your caregiver when it is OK for you to return to work and do your normal daily activities. Do not drive or lift heavy objects after your surgery until your caregiver says it is OK.
You will need to wear a support garment after your surgery, such as a binder or body suit. These garments help support your abdomen muscles while they are healing. Support garments may also help you feel less pain after your surgery. Do not wear support garments that are too tight. Ask your caregiver which support garments are the right size for you. Your caregiver will tell you when it is OK to stop wearing your support garment.
Ask your caregiver for more information on how often you should clean your wound and change your bandage. Ask your caregiver when it is OK to take a shower or a bath.
Do not smoke:
Smoking causes lung cancer and other long-term lung diseases. It increases your risk of many cancer types. Smoking also increases your risk of blood vessel disease, heart attack, and vision disorders. Not smoking may help prevent such symptoms as headaches and dizziness for yourself and those around you. Smokers have shorter lifespans than nonsmokers.
CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:
- You have a fever.
- You have bruises that are getting larger.
- You have fluid leaking from your wound.
- You have pain that does not go away, even with medicine.
- You get a new rash.
- Your stitches come apart.
- You have chest pain or trouble breathing that is getting worse over time.
SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:
- You have bleeding that does not stop.
- You have trouble breathing.
- You have chest pain.
- You suddenly feel lightheaded and have trouble breathing.
- You have new and sudden chest pain. You may have more pain when you take deep breaths or cough. You may cough up blood.
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.