RECOVERING FROM A TUMMY TUCK
Patients who undergo an abdominoplasty procedure will have approximately 6 to 8 weeks of normal recovery. Immediate postoperatively, patients are placed in the semi-Fowler position, and abdominal binders are placed in the operating room. If suctioning of the hips is performed, Reston foam is also placed on the bilateral hip areas. Patients will have two 10 mm JP drains placed to remove fluid, serous as well as old blood, from underneath the abdominal flap as well as to allow for scarring and reattachment of the abdominal flap back to the abdominal wall. Drainage tubes normally stay in for approximately 7 days and then removed once less than 25 cc a day of fluid is being pulled out of each drain. The patients wear an abdominal binder for approximately 6 to 8 weeks. This will allow for reduction of swelling edema as well as allow the scarring back down to the abdominal musculature and fascia as well. Patients are maintained on antibiotics for at least 7 days. We normally use Keflex 500 mg, four times a day for 7 days. If allergic to penicillin, we may continue with Ciprofloxacin 500 mg twice a day. Patients are instructed not to perform any heavy lifting. They will also walk at an angle, stooped over, in order to reduce tension on the incision site for approximately 7 to 10 days.
Patients are seen postoperative day one in which the dressings are all removed and replaced with clean, dry 4×4 gauge. The Reston foam is then removed as well.
The next visit on day 7, the JP drains are removed. The holes do not need to be sutured as a small amount of fluid will be evacuated over the next 72 hours onto the clean, dry dressings. Patients are instructed after 7 days to change the dressings twice to three times a day in order to keep the areas clean and dry.
On day 14, the patients return and sutures are then removed and on day 17 to 20, final sutures are removed, especially around the umbilical region. At this time the abdominal binder may be replaced with a Dr. Linder Band. The Dr. Linder Band is a compressive device with multiple clips in the front which allows for nice compression of the abdominal region, reducing swelling and further edema. It is made of 90% cotton, 10% Spandex and is extremely comfortable. The outer layer is 90% Nylon and 10% Spandex, which allows for support and comfort ability. The Dr. Linder Band and Dr. Linder Bra can be seen on www.linderproducts.com