Post-operative Instructions English (PDF)  Instructions postopératoire français (PDF)

What can I expect after the surgery?

  • Discomfort for the first few days
  • Some numbness of the skin, this is normal and temporary
  • You will have one small surgical drain after your surgery. This drain will help eliminate extra fluid after your surgery. You will be shown how to empty this drain before you leave the hospital. The drain will be removed by our nurse 7 to 10 days after your surgery. It is normal to have some drainage around your drain site. If this happens, apply a peri-pad (maxi-pad) on top of the existing dressing and secure with tape.
  • Most sutures used during an abdominoplasty are absorbable. Those surrounding your navel or drain site will need to be removed by our nurse at your first post-operative visit.

What garments do I need after surgery?

  • You will be fitted with an abdominal binder.  You are required to wear this continuously for the first 4 weeks post-surgery. You may remove these binders for showering, but we recommend that when you do so, you limit physical activity.

What kind of medication will I be prescribed after surgery?

  • Pain medication, antibiotics, and medication to help you sleep. We highly recommend taking over the counter stool softener to prevent irregularities in your bowel routine.

It is very important NOT to take your prescribed medication and any other type of pain medication at the same time. 

Always check with your pharmacist to make sure taking Tylenol Extra Strength will not interfere with any of the medications you are taking. 

Advil or any other type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications are not recommended for the first 7 days after surgery. 

What can I do with the dressing?

  • You do not need to do anything with the dressing. Your dressing will be removed 7 to 10 days after surgery by our nurse. It is normal to see blood on your dressing, do not be alarmed.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact our nurse. 

When can I shower?

  • You will not be able to shower until you have your dressings and drain removed; sponge baths are recommended until then. Baths are not recommended until your incisions are healed, at least 10 to 14 days after surgery.

What can I do to help the healing process?

  • Eat a healthy diet full of vitamins, minerals, and proteins.
  • Drink 2-4L of water every day.
  • Wear your compressive garment and follow physical restrictions.
  • We strongly recommend you quit smoking before surgery.

How can I promote optimal healing of my incision?

  • At your initial post-operative visit, we will provide you with scar recovery gel. Instructions on daily massage and application of this product will be discussed that day.

What am I allowed to do after surgery?

  • No strenuous work or heavy lifting for the first 4-6 weeks after surgery
  • We encourage you to be mobile after your surgery; do not stay stationary.
  • Driving is permitted if you are not taking any medication that could affect your alertness and you feel that you are able to drive safely and comfortably.

It is important to listen to your body, it will let you know when you are doing too much.

When do I return for follow-up care?

  • 1 week with nurse
  • 6 weeks with nurse and Dr. Howley
  • 6 months with nurse for after pictures
  • Whenever needed

What should I watch out for?

Please contact our office if your present with any of the following:

  • Severe and sudden pain in your leg, could be accompanied by warmth and redness
  • Severe nausea caused by pain medication
  • Allergic reaction to your antibiotic
  • If you have any questions or concerns at all

**If you experience any of these symptoms after office hours or over the weekend, please call and leave us a message (so we are aware) and then present yourself to the nearest emergency room.**