Tummy Tuck Postoperative Care
During the patient’s preoperative visit, Dr. Gouverne will prescribe 5 different medications, Demerol, Lortab or Ultracet, Promethazine (oral), Phenergan, and Restoril. The patient should fill all medications prescribed by Dr. Gouverne before surgery.
- Demerol is a strong narcotic pain medication. The patient may take Demerol for the first 2-3 days after surgery when the pain may be the most severe. The patient should only take half a Demerol tablet and increase to a full tablet as necessary. One Demerol tablet may be taken every 4 hours.
- Lortab 5.0 is a pain medication. Ultracet is prescribed when the patient has an allergy to Lortab. The patient may begin taking the Lortab or Ultracet after the Demerol has been discontinued. The patient should begin by taking half a tablet and increase to two tablets as necessary. Lortab or Ultracet may be taken every 4 hours.
- Promethazine (oral) is an anti-nausea medication and should be taken with narcotic pain medication to avoid nausea and vomiting. The Phenergan suppository should be used in cases of severe nausea when the patient cannot tolerate the Promethazine tablet.
- Phenergan is a suppository and can be used in cases of severe nausea and vomiting.
- Restoril is a sleep aid and can be taken after the patient switches to Lortab or Ultracet. The patient may take the Restoril pill at night after pain is controlled with Lortab or Ultracet.
FOLLOW ALL THE DIRECTIONS ON THE PRESCRIPTION BOTTLE LABEL.
DO NOT TAKE DEMEROL AND LORTAB TOGETHER.
DO NOT TAKE PAIN MEDICATION ON AN EMPTY STOMACH.
PAIN PUMP INSTRUCTIONS (Optional pain management choice at extra cost)
- Monitor pain pump balloon inside pain pump unit.
- When pain pump balloon is empty, remove clear adhesive tape and pull out wires.
- When empty, discard drain pump unit at home.
The patient must walk around at least 4 times within the first 24 hours to promote blood circulation in the legs and to help prevent blood clots.
Compression hose must be worn by the patient for the first 24 hours after surgery. The patient should keep the unit on when sitting or lying down. Remove unit only when walking around. Return the compression hose unit to our office at the first postoperative appointment.
Salt intake must be eliminated from the diet for 3-weeks after surgery. Eating salt will increase fluid retention and will prolong the need for drain usage.
ABDOMINAL DRAIN CARE & FLUID RECORDING
- Activate abdominal drains by compressing drain bulbs completely. While bulb is compressed place flip-top into open port. Abdominal fluid will drain into bulb. Abdominal fluid will not drain unless drain bulb is compressed completely.
- Before emptying the drain bulbs, record the time drain is emptied and the amount in each drain bulb on drain log.
- For the first 3 days empty and record drainage amounts every 3 hours. After 3 days, record amount every 5 hours.
- Empty drain bulbs by opening flip-top stopper and pouring into toilet.
- Separately record amounts for left and right drain bulbs.
- Bring drain log to every postoperative follow-up appointment until drains are removed.
- Once daily, remove dressing and replace with fresh dressing. Apply Iodine to drain site and on drain tube continuously for approximately 1 inch from exit site every time dressing is changed. Tape fresh dressings into place using a minimal amount of tape to avoid irritation from tape adhesive.
Patients may only take sponge baths until abdominal drain is removed. Abdominal drains are removed 5-8 days after surgery.
POSTOPERATIVE FOLLOW-UP APPOINTMENTS
First Follow-Up Appointment – Day after surgery
- The first follow-up appointment will be the day after surgery. The patient will be checked for possible blood clots, have drain tubes checked for proper drainage, have dressing removed, and receive a surgical wound wash to abdominal area. Patients will be given supplies and instructions for changing dressings at home.
The patient may be asked to wear a compression garment. Patient must bring compression garment to every follow-up appointment. Do not wear compression garment unless instructed to do so by Dr. Gouverne.
CALL DR. GOUVERNE’S OFFICE AT (361) 993-2222 IF:
The patient has a temperature of 102°F or higher. It is not uncommon to have a low-grade fever after surgery. A high fever may be a sign of infection and will usually manifest on the fifth or sixth postoperative day.
(Reviewed on 09/25/2013)