Pre-Op, Post-Op and Recovery Instructions

Your Pre-Op Consultation

At Richmond Aesthetic Surgery, we are committed to providing outstanding patient care at every stage of the treatment process. Dr. Neil J. Zemmel, along with his knowledgeable team, is always available to answer any questions or address any concerns, beginning with your initial consultation. Two weeks before the scheduled date of your tummy tuck, your surgeon will meet with you once more to review your customized surgical plan, any associated risks, recovery instructions, and potential results. Along with detailed pre-operative instructions, you will receive prescriptions for any medications you might need, allowing you to fill them well before the day of your surgery.

Since physical strain should be minimized during the recovery period, Dr. Zemmel suggests tummy tuck candidates maintain their normal activity levels in the weeks before surgery. However, if you already have strong abdominal muscles going into tummy tuck surgery, this can help expedite the recovery process. To help reduce the risk of post-operative complications, it is recommended that you abstain from tobacco use and avoid certain prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, vitamin supplements, and herbal supplements. Your surgeon will provide patients with a complete list of these medications and supplements during the final pre-operative consultation.

Post-Op Recovery

Some swelling, discomfort, or mild pain is normal immediately following tummy tuck surgery, though these side-effects can be easily managed with medication. Common medications include Percocet for pain, Valium for a muscle relaxant, an antibiotic, and an anti-nausea medication.

Tummy tuck patients typically spend the night in the hospital, allowing our board-certified plastic surgeon and staff to ensure patient comfort and safety. IV fluids help patients stay well-hydrated the night after surgery, which can be vital for a fast recovery. Dr. Zemmel visits all his tummy tuck patients once more in the morning before they are discharged. At this time, he will provide detailed instructions for showering and changing the dressings.

Though patients will likely be sore or stiff after surgery, our surgeon recommends standing up and walking as soon as patients feel comfortable doing so. After 5-7 days, patients will see their plastic surgeon for a follow-up appointment. At this time, they can ensure that recovery is going as expected, remove drainage tubes, and remove any stitches that have not dissolved. Some patients choose to return to work after this follow-up while others choose to wait another week or two. Patients typically wear a compression garment for 3-4 weeks to further accelerate the healing process. At 2-3 weeks post-surgery, Dr. Zemmel recommends light exercise to reduce swelling and the risk of blood clots.

Patients often require several weeks of recovery after tummy tuck surgery to feel like themselves again. Though the body will heal dramatically in the first 4-6 weeks, patients often notice their final results develop over the course of 6-12 months. Over this time, incision scars will fade, often leaving only a thin, soft white line. With a healthy diet and exercise routine, patients can enjoy their slimmer, more toned figure.

Contact Richmond Aesthetic Surgery

For more information tummy tuck pre-operative or post-operative instructions, or to schedule a consultation, please contact us at Richmond Aesthetic Surgery today.