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Post-Operative Information and Instructions

What to Expect on Your Procedure Day

When you arrive at our surgical center on the day of your procedure, our staff will greet you and show you to the room where you will have your final pre-op exam. You will be provided with a surgical gown to change into. You will need to be sure that you have followed everything in our Pre-Op instructions sheet prior to arriving. If you are having local anesthetic during your procedure, you may have a light breakfast or small lunch up to 3 hours prior to arriving. For patients undergoing general anesthesia, you will be instructed to NOT eat or drink anything after midnight the night before. Your skin should be freshly washed with antibacterial soap (containing NO moisturizers) and your hair should be shampooed. You should not be wearing any lotion, body sprays (perfume or cologne), or have any antiperspirant on. All jewelry and piercings should be removed. If you are wearing a wedding band, we will tape it.

After one final trip to the restroom, you will have your before pictures taken and then be marked with a felt tipped skin marker. Dr. Richard Buckley will meet with you to answer any final questions or concerns you may have before being escorted to the surgery room.

General Instructions After Your Procedure

  1. Follow Up Appointment:
    As soon as your procedure is completed it’s important that you book a follow up appointment within 3 days after surgery. This follow up appointment is to ensure that everything is healing properly and there aren’t any complications or abnormalities with your procedure. Its also provides you an opportunity to ask any questions that you may have about the healing process.
  2. Going Home:
    You must arrange for a friend of family member to be at home with you after surgery. You will not be allowed to drive yourself home. As such, we can provide transportation to and from our surgery center for your convenience (fee applies). A cab or bus will not be allowed to transport you home, but you can opt to have a responsible adult bring you home if you wish. It is recommended that you have a responsible adult with you at home on the day of surgery and for the first 24 hours afterward to assist you with various tasks and to help monitor your recovery.
  3. Diet:
    Immediately following surgery we recommend consuming clear fluids and resuming your usual solid diet as tolerated. Throughout the following days of recovery be sure to eat regular meals and drink adequate amounts of water, fruit juice or non-caffeinated soft drinks to prevent dehydration. Avoid alcoholic beverages for 72 hours before and after treatment.
  4. Activities:
    It is advised that you try to get as much quiet rest as you can for optimal surgery recovery. In the first 24 hours following surgery do not drive or operate hazardous machinery and do not make any important decisions as your judgment may be clouded. Later during the first day or evening after surgery you should take a short walk – it doesn’t have to be far it just has to be enough to get you moving a little. Staying in bed the whole time can actually slow the recovery process. The day after surgery if you feel well enough, you may drive your car and engage in light to moderate physical activities (no strenuous exercise such as aerobics, weight lifting, running or swimming). It is suggested that you begin with no more than 25% of your normal daily activity and gradually increase your activity daily as tolerated. You may carefully resume light exercise (walking, doing housework, light gardening, walking up a flights of stairs, dancing, stretching…etc.) and normal physical activities 2 to 3 days after surgery. Most people can return to a desk job within two days after surgery, although expect to be sore and easily fatigued for the next several days. You may resume moderate exercise (such as weightlifting) after 4 weeks.
  5. Post-Op Garment:
    During surgery recovery, compression garments are to be worn to hold the absorbent pads in place and to provide mild compression that encourages the drainage of the blood-tinged anesthetic solution. The day after surgery, when the garment is first removed in order to take a shower, you may experience a brief sensation of dizziness. Feeling lightheaded is similar to what you may experience when standing up too quickly. This is caused by the rapid decompression of the chest as the compression garments are initially removed. Should dizziness occur, simply sit or lie down until it passes. Wear the compression garment 24 hrs/day for the 1st week. After the first week, wear it for about 12 hrs/day while awake. You must wear the compression garment for a total of 2 weeks. Wash the garment twice daily for the first 3 days then as needed. Wash the garment in cold water and dry on fluff/air cycle only. Heat will shrink the garment. Wear biking shorts or support stockings while waiting for the garment to dry. After three days you may wear whatever is comfortable – garment, biking shorts, stockings or nothing at all.
  6. Managing Post-Op Drainage (Liposuction):
    You should expect a significant volume of blood tinged anesthetic solution to drain from the small incisions during the first 24 to 48 hours following surgery. In general, the more drainage there is, the less bruising and swelling there will be and the more smoothly your surgery recovery will go. However, do not massage the area trying to get more fluid to escape as this can cause complications. During the first 48 hours, you should sit or lie on a towel. When there is a large amount of drainage, it is advisable to place a plastic sheet beneath the towel to avoid staining. After the first few days you may need to only place absorbent gauze dressings over the incision sites that continue to drain. Please note, the drainage may soak through the padding before you can shower the next day. If this happens, you may either stay wet or change the padding. If you decide to change, do so lying down. Open only one side of garment, pull out wet padding, replace with dry padding, and close garment before standing. Removing the garment while standing can make you feel faint and/or nauseated during the first 24 hours after surgery – if possible have someone help you. Please note, you should not remove the garment to use the bathroom.
  7. Medications:
    After your procedure you will be prescribed antibiotics and pain medication. It’s very important that you follow the directions for these prescriptions accurately and complete your antibiotics as prescribed. You may take your prescribed pain medication or Tylenol to ease post-operative pain.
    Do not take Aspirin or medicines that contain aspirin for 5 days after surgery since it interferes with normal blood clotting. Some medications which contain aspirin that should be avoided are: Alka-Seltzer, Excedrin, Excedrin Migraine, Emprin, Dristan, Aspirin Ascription, Darvon, and Percodan.
    Do not take Ibuprofen or medicines that contain ibuprofen for 5 days after surgery as it interferes with blood clotting. Some medications containing ibuprofen that should be avoided are: Midol, Motrin, and Advil.
    Do not take Aleve or medicines containing naproxen or naproxen sodium for 5 days after surgery as it interferes with blood clotting. Some medications containing naproxen that should be avoided are: Aleve, Naproxen and Naprosyn.
    Do not take “Megadoses” of Vitamin E. However, a daily multi-vitamin that contains vitamin E is just fine.
    Do not smoke because nicotine reduces blood flow to the skin and can cause significant complications during healing.
    Do not consume alcohol for 3 days after surgery.
    Do not restart prescription medications such as SSRI’s and TCA’s until 48 hours (two days) after surgery. You must wait for two days because the lidocaine used during surgery interacts with these medications.
  8. Wound Care And Bathing:
    It’s very important to keep the incision areas clean by washing them twice a day. Start by first washing your hands, then scrub the incision areas gently with soap, water, and a clean wash cloth. Afterwards, pat them dry with a clean towel and proceed to apply a small amount of antibiotic ointment on them and cover them with new absorbent dressings (if still draining). Do this for 10-14 days until sites stop trying to form a scab. The less scabbing that occurs, the less scarring there will be. You may take lukewarm showers starting the day after surgery. Since it is possible to feel nauseous when removing the garment, remove it while sitting in the tub. Stand up slowly and then start to shower. Do not run the shower too hot; that can also make you feel faint. Again, try to have some help if possible. Do not take a bath or get into a Jacuzzi for 14 days.
    Do not apply ice packs or a heating pad to the skin overlying the areas treated by liposuction.
    Do not apply hydrogen peroxide or plastic band-aids to incision sites.
    Do not soak in a bath or Jacuzzi or go into a swimming pool or the ocean for 14 days after surgery.

Common Side Effects After Invasive Procedure
Slight Temperature Elevation – This is normal during the first 48 hours after surgery. It is a natural consequence of the body’s reaction to surgical trauma.
Discomfort And Soreness – This can be worse by the second day after surgery, then improving daily. Take your prescribed pain medication as directed or extra strength Tylenol every 4 hours while awake, for the first 48 hours. This will reduce the inflammation, swelling, and soreness associated with surgery. Do not take aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen or medications containing these drugs for 5 days after surgery as they can promote bleeding.
Bruising – This is minimal with gynecomastia-related tumescent liposuction. Nevertheless, the more extensive the liposuction surgery needed, the more bruising you can expect.
Painful Swelling – This inflammatory reaction to surgical trauma may occur and increase 5 to 10 days after surgery. This can be treated with your prescribed antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs.
Feel free to call us anytime during your recovery if you have any questions or concerns even if you’re unsure if the problem is an emergency.

Call Us If You Experience Any Of The Following:
Your Temperature Is Greater Than 100º
You Notice Foul Smelling Drainage
You Are Experiencing Excessive Pain
You Notice Any Dark, Thick Bloody Drainage
You Are Experiencing Severe Dizziness While Standing
You Notice Any Pus At The Incision Site

*There may be additional instructions and warnings for the procedure you have had done. Please be sure to get this complete list from our staff and do not rely solely on the information provided on this page.


MilfordMD Cometic Dermatology Surgery & Laser Center