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Abdominoplasty

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

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

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Medicines:

  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria. Always take your antibiotics exactly as ordered by your healthcare provider. Do not stop taking your medicine unless directed by your healthcare provider. Never save antibiotics or take leftover antibiotics that were given to you for another illness.
  • Antispasm drugs: This medicine relaxes your muscles and helps 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.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him 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.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Your healthcare provider will make sure you are healing well. He may remove your stitches, staples, or drains. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Activity:

Ask your healthcare provider when you can return to your normal activities. Ask when you can return to work.

Support garments:

You will need to wear a support garment after your surgery. These garments help support your abdomen and may help you feel less pain while you are healing. Do not wear support garments that are too tight. Ask about which support garments are the right size for you. Your healthcare provider will tell you when it is okay to stop wearing your support garment.

Wound care:

Ask your healthcare provider for more information on how often you should clean your wound and change your bandage. Ask when it is okay to bathe.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever.
  • The skin around your incision is red, swollen, and leaking pus.
  • Your pain does not go away, even with medicine.
  • You have bruises that are getting larger.
  • You get a new rash.
  • Your stitches come apart.
  • You have questions about your condition, surgery, or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • Blood soaks through your bandages.
  • Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
  • You suddenly feel lightheaded and have shortness of breath.
  • You have chest pain. You may have more pain when you take a deep breath or cough. You may cough up blood.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

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.

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