Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) Instructions



Before taking any medication READ THIS!

1. No aspirin (ASA) or anti-inflammatory medicine ( NSAIDs). NOTHING containing aspirin like products* for two (2) weeks before surgery since it causes bleeding.

Check the list at the end of these instructions for products like this and if in doubt, call us or a pharmacist. If needed, Tylenol (Acetaminophen) may be used.

2. Do not take Arnica Montana or Traumeel. There is no proven evidence that it helps with post op bruising and it may in fact cause post op bleeding.

3. Nutritional Supplements to AVOID are: Bilberry, Cayenne, Echinacea, Feverfew, Fish oil, Garlic, Ginger, Ginkgo Biloba, Ginseng, Kava Kava, Valerian, Licorice Root, Ma Huang, St. John’s Wort, Vitamin E, Yohimbe. or other herbs for 2 weeks prior to surgery (longer if possible) as they also can cause thinning of the blood.

4. Take Vitamin C daily for two weeks prior to surgery and 2 weeks after surgery. The dosage isn’t critical, but high doses are a waste.

5. Smokers should quit smoking before surgery – smoking dramatically increases the risk of major complications of surgery and anaesthesia such as severe respiratory complications, skin death and increase risk of infection.  If you need assistance, such as nicotine patch treatment, please ask your family physician.

6. No alcohol for 48 hours prior to surgery.

7. Report any signs of a cold, infection, boils or pustules appearing within 1 week   before surgery.

8. Arrange for a responsible adult to drive you to your home, or  hotel after surgery. If transport is needed a caregiver can be organized to assist you at an additional cost.

9. Have your prescriptions filled immediately after your pre-operative visit.  That way you won’t lose it or have to get it filled on surgery day. It a good idea to also get a stool softener, such as Senekot, as pain medications cause constipation.  

10. Gravol Suppositories may be helpful for nausea and vomiting post-operatively.  They can be purchased without a prescription.

11. Remove all jewelry, body piercings including both internal and external.  Jewelry may cause injury while moving from one bed to another and burns may occur from cautery equipment used during surgery.


SURGERY and PICK-UP TIMES are subject to CHANGE.  We will attempt to give you notice IF POSSIBLE


1. No make-up. Do not use cream on face or body. Remove contact lenses.

2. Do not take medication of any kind (unless instructed by Dr. Gelfant). If you have high blood pressure medication you may take it in the morning but only with a small sip of water.

3. Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothes that do no need to be placed over your head. No pantyhose, please.

4. You must have a responsible adult to drive for you after surgery.  Your ride should park on Ash street outside the Cambie Surgery Centre (2836 Ash street). A pre-operative nurse will phone you a few days before surgery to review everything.

5. Nearly all of our abdominoplasty patients spend the night in the surgery centre. However, if this is not the case, you must have someone spend the first night or two with you.  Additional instructions and prescriptions can be given to the person calling for you. Such prescriptions should be filled promptly.

6. If you have any questions before your surgery, please call our office weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.


1. Take medications according to instructions on bottle.  If taking strong narcotics, or if other pain medications make you feel “spacey” or drowsy, have someone else give you your medicines according to the proper time intervals. Under such circumstances you could forget and take them too often

2. Spend much of your time  in bed or lying on a sofa for the first 24 hours. You should get up to go to the bathroom and for short walks with help, however. After the 1st day, go for frequent short walks.

3. Begin taking an iron supplement with a multivitamin.

4. Usually , you may return to work in a week to two weeks, depending on how you are as a patient in recovery,, as this can vary quite a bit.  Avoid strenuous activity or heavy lifting. It may cause bleeding or seroma ( fluid accumulation).

5. Sponge bath only until the large abdominal dressing and the drains are removed.  (After drain is removed, you may shower.) Empty “drain” bulb every 12 hours and record the amount drained on paper (more often if needed). Be sure it is squeezed down before sealing so it continues to suction.

6. Clean the drain site with hydrogen peroxide and Q tips, then apply bacitracin ointment twice daily, change gauze around drain site and replace with a fresh one. 

7. The garment may be removed for bathing and washing of the garment, after the first four days.  If the garment feels too tight or is uncomfortable you may take it off only to adjust it prior to the four days. Otherwise, wear continuously during daily activities for the next four weeks..

8. Avoid smoking after your operation to prevent coughing and possible bleeding, as well as skin death.

9. No alcohol while taking medication post-operatively.

10. You can expect:

a) Moderate discomfort – use pain medication and/or cool compresses

b) Moderate swelling

c) Slight bleeding the 1st night or 2

d) Some bleeding from wound edges

e)To feel tired and sleepy for first 5-7 days

11.         Infection is a common complication of any surgery:

 a) Occasionally there is an initial skin breakdown along the incision, there may be some fluid on dressing or tape. Do not be alarmed. Please notify us and we will discuss management.

b) More severe symptoms such as the development of a fever with a temperature of over 38 degrees C, or spreading redness and rapidly  increasing pain, should prompt immediate medical attention.

12. Call 874-2078 if you have:

a) Marked swelling, or obviously more swelling on one side than the other

b) Severe pain not responding to medications

c) Sudden bleeding

d) If bandages seem too tight

e) If any other questions or problem arises

Feel free to call us at any time. We want you to be as comfortable as possible during your healing period. If you need assistance after office hours please call the office (604-874-2078) and leave a message with the answering service and they will contact Dr. Gelfant directly.

14. Avoid prolonged exposure to sun and heat for one month to avoid swelling.


1st: 1 to 2 days following surgery

2nd: As needed by fluid in bottle from drains. “Drains” are usually removed by 5 days. 

Additional visits to be determined by Dr. Gelfant.

ASA or anti-inlammatory containing drugs

(*i.e., Anacin, ASA, Bufferin, Calmine, Coricidin, Coryphen, Dolomine, Dristan Capsules, Entrophen, Herbopyrine, Instantine, Kalmex, Madelon, MED Tigol, Midol, Nervine, Nezgar Norgesic, Novasen, Novo AC&C, Pain AID, Robaxisal, 217, 222, 282, 292’s, Upsarin.  Also AC with codeine, Asantine, Coryphen, Darvon products, Endodan, Fiorinal, Novopropoxyn, Oxycodan, Painex, Percodan, Phenaphen, Robaxisal, 692, Tecnal, 282’s, 292’s, Artrol, Trilisate, Diclofenac, (Apo-Diclo, ApoDiclo SR, Arthrotec, Diclofenac, Ect, Novo-Difenac, Novo-Difenac SR, Nu-Diclo, Taro Diclofenac, Voltaren, Voltaren SR), Diclofenac potassium,(Voltaren Rapide), Diflunisal (Apo-Diflunisal, Dolobid, Novo-Diflunasil, Nu-Diflunisal), Etodolac (Ultradol), Fenoprofen Calcium, (Nalfon), Floctafenine (Idarac), Flurbiprofen (Anacad, Apoflurbiprophen FC, Froben, Froben SR, Novo-Flurprofen, Nu-flurbiprofen), Ibuprofen (Actiprofen, Advil, Advil Cold and Sinus, Amersol, Apo-Ibuprofen, Exedrin, IB, Medipren, Motrin, Motrin IB, Novo-Profen, Nuprin, Nu-Ibuprofen, Sinus PR & Pain reliever with Ibuprofen), Indomethacin, Apo-Indomethacin, Indocid, Indocid SR, Indolec, Nov-Methacin, Nu-Indo, Pro-Indo, Rhodacine (Ketroprofen), Apo-Keto, Apo-Keto-E, Novo-Keto, Novo-Keto-Ec, Nu-Ketroprofen, Nu-Ketroprofen-E, Orudis, Orudis-E, Orudis-SR, Oruvail, (PMS-Ketoprofen, PMS-Ketoprofen-E, Rhodis, Rhodis-EC), Ketorolac tromethamine (Acular, Toradol), Magnesium Salicylate (Back-Ese-M, Doan’s Backache pills, Herbogesic), Mefenamic Acid (Ponstan) Nabumetone (Relafen), Naproxen (Apo-Naproxen, Naprosyn, Naprosyn-E, Naxen, Novo-Naprox, Nu-Naprox, PMS-Naproxen), Naproxen Sodium, anaprox, anaprox DS, Apo-Napro-Na, Naproxin-NA, Novo-Naprox Sodium, Synflex, Synflex DS. Oxyphenbutazone, Oxybutazone, Phenylbutazone, Alka Phenyl, Alka Phenylbutazone, Apo-Phenylbutazone, Butazolidin, Novo-Butazone, Phenylone Plus, Piroxicam, Feldene, Kenral-Piroxican, Nova-Pirocam, Nu-Pirox, PMS-Piroxicam, Pro-Piroxicam, Rho-Piroxicam, Salsalate, Disalcid, Sodium Salicylate, Dodd’s, Dodd’s Extra Strength, Sulindac, Apo-Sulin, Clinoril, Nova-Sundac, Nu-Sulindac, Sulindac, Tenoxicam, Mobilflex, Tiaprofenicacid, Albert Tiafen, Apo-Tiaprofenic, Surgam, Surgam SR, Tolmetin sodium, Novo-Tolmetin, Tolectin