As many people may already know, it is extremely hazardous to drive after intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. Make sure to arrange for a responsible adult to be able to drive you home and stay with you after for at least 24 hours. The effects of the anesthesia are capable of remaining in your body for as long as 24 hours. You must plan on resting for up to 24 hours after surgery.
The position in which you sleep may not seem important, but it is vital to your recovery. Most positions will be uncomfortable, so you are advised to try sleeping on your back. After the surgery you may partake of liquids such as soft drinks, soup, or tea. After this you can gradually progress to a soft food diet and then eventually a regular diet over the next 24 hours.
Take your post-operative medications and fill your prescriptions as directed. If you should become nauseated or develop a rash, you are advised to contact your plastic surgeon’s office. Unless your surgeon advises otherwise, you may resume your regular medications at this time. However, most surgeons advise that you avoid aspirin and any product that contains aspirin for about two weeks before and after your procedure. You will also be advised to avoid alcohol until postoperative medications are complete.
Your plastic surgeon will place an elastic pressure garment around your abdomen and that should remain on at all times until your surgeon instructs you to remove it. You will need to take sponge baths to avoid getting this garment wet. Before you leave from your plastic surgeon’s clinic, you will be instructed on how to empty and care for the drain that you will likely see emerging from under your dressing. This will usually be removed when the drainage is less than 40 cc per 24 hours – this usually takes four or five days.
You are able to take a normal shower daily after your bandages and drain are removed. The day after your surgery, you are advised to get out of bed and walk around your house. You should do this several times a day and increase your activity level as tolerated. About two weeks after surgery you may walk and swim longer distances, but you should still avoid strenuous exercise for six weeks. Also you need to avoid “sit-ups” for at least two months. It’s normal to have swelling and bruising of the surgical area. This will improve over the next few weeks. However, shortness of breath, chest pain, fever, or unusual pain in the operated area, especially on one side, should be called to the attention of your cosmetic surgeon immediately.