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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 5, 2023.

An abdominoplasty is surgery to remove fat and skin from your abdomen. This surgery is also called a tummy tuck.


Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

  • You feel lightheaded, short of breath, and have chest pain.
  • You cough up blood.

Call your surgeon if:

  • Blood soaks through your bandages.
  • Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
  • You have a fever or chills.
  • Your wound is red, swollen, or draining pus.
  • You have nausea or vomiting.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


You may need the following medicines:

  • Prescription pain medicine will be given. Ask how to take this medicine safely.
  • Stool softeners help prevent constipation while you are taking pain medicine.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell your provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Wear your support garment

as directed. It helps support your abdomen and may help you feel less pain while you are healing.

Care for your wound

as directed. Ask your surgeon when you can bathe. He or she will tell you how to care for your incision or bandage.

Ask your surgeon about activity

and how much you can do. Ask when you can drive again or return to work.

Follow up with your surgeon as directed:

You will need to return to have your drains and stitches or staples removed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.