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Abdominoplasty

Mater Private Hospital Brisbane

The largest of Mater Health Services' private facilities, Mater Private Hospital Brisbane is a flagship for the level of care and facilities our organisation strives to provide. The tertiary, acute facility is built on a foundation of clinical excellence and a commitment to safe, compassionate care, that is:

  • quality focused
  • technologically advanced
  • customised to patients' needs and lifestyle.

Mater Private Hospital Brisbane is an outstanding health care provider with a total of 323 patient beds, ten operating theatres, a 24-hour private emergency service, preadmission clinic, CardioVascular Unit, Intensive Care and Coronary Care Units, Breast Cancer Centre and Day Procedure Unit.

All rooms and facilities are designed to offer comfort and privacy, complete with a range of modern, air-conditioned accommodation.

While in hospital, patients also have access to allied health (e.g. dietitians, physiotherapists), pharmacy, hairdressing and chaplaincy services.

For more information about Mater Private Hospital Brisbane, please call 07 3163 1111.

Visiting hours

8 am to 8 pm (patient rest period 1.30 pm to 3.30 pm)

Our Mission

In the spirit of the Sisters of Mercy, Mater Health Services offers compassionate service to the sick and needy, promotes an holistic approach to health care in response to changing community needs and fosters high standards in health-related education and research.

Following the example of Christ the Healer, we commit ourselves to offering these services to all without discrimination.

Our Values

Mercy: the spirit of responding to one another

Dignity: the spirit of humanity, respecting the worth of each person

Care: the spirit of compassion

Commitment: the spirit of integrity

Quality: the spirit of professionalism

At Mater Private Hospital Brisbane, we acknowledge that having an operation can be a very stressful experience. In keeping with our Mission to offer compassionate, quality care that promotes dignity whilst responding to patients' needs, this booklet aims to alleviate some of your concerns. It explains the general day to day events that may occur during your visit and the things to expect when you are discharged from hospital. It is, however, only a guideline as each person may require differing treatments. If you have any questions about your treatment please speak to your doctor or nurse. Our pastoral care team also offers a caring support network to all patients. The dedicated members of this team are available at your request.

Abdominoplasty

An Abdominoplasty, also known as a "tummy tuck", is a surgical procedure in which excess skin and fat in the abdominal area is removed and the abdominal muscles are tightened.

This surgery is performed under general anaesthetic which means you will be asleep throughout the procedure and will feel no pain.

As with any surgery there are risks associated with this procedure. These risks will be explained to you by your surgeon prior to your admission to hospital.

Our expectations

We expect that you will stay in hospital until you have achieved the following (usually three to six days):

  1. you are able to maintain an adequate oral intake
  2. your pain is controlled with oral analgesia (pain medication)
  3. you are mobilising to the same level as you were prior to your admission
  4. your wound is healing well with no signs of infection.

Preadmission clinic

Mater Private Hospital Brisbane provides a preadmission service. You will receive this service in any of the following ways:

  • from the specialty clinic to the preadmission clinic
  • at the preadmission clinic
  • via a phone call.

The preadmission service gathers information, initiates investigations to prepare you for your surgery, provides information regarding your specific operation and identifies your discharge needs.

Day of admission/surgery

Before coming to hospital please ensure that you have:

  • had nothing to eat or drink as per the instructions given to you by the preadmission clinic or your doctor
  • showered and dressed in clean clothes. No skin products are to be used following your shower (e.g. deodorant, perfume, body lotion, powder, make up)
  • left your valuables at home. You may wear your wedding band only.
  • brought the following with you:
    • your X-rays
    • your operation consent form
    • your medications in their labelled containers or packets.

On your arrival to the hospital please report to the reception desk on level 6, where you will be directed to the Welcome Lounge/Day Procedure Unit. Only one relative/visitor is permitted within the clinical areas of the Welcome Lounge.

Our Welcome Lounge staff will:

  • apply an identification band
  • complete your nursing assessment form
  • take your temperature, pulse, blood pressure and weight
  • clip your abdominal area if required
  • ask you to change into a theatre gown and paper pants
  • apply anti-embolic stockings. These assist with blood flow through your legs and decrease the risk of blood clot formation while you have decreased mobility
  • take details of any family member who would like to speak to the surgeon after the operation (preferably mobile phone number)
  • complete your preoperative checklist.

You may walk around as much as you like but please do not leave the Welcome Lounge. Your surgeon may visit with you prior to your surgery, either in the Welcome Lounge/Day Unit or in the preoperative holding area. You will be transferredto the operating theatre on a wheelchair or on your bed if you have received a premedication. Your luggage will be delivered to the ward where it will be stored in a locked room until after you have returned from theatre.

After your surgery

  • Immediately following your surgery you will be transferred to the recovery room where you will be observed closely until you are more awake.
  • It is common to need oxygen which will be given via a face mask.
  • When you have recovered sufficiently from the anaesthetic you will be returned to your room in the postoperative ward. The nurses will take vital signs—your pulse, respiration rate, temperature, blood pressure and check your wound and drain/s regularly.
  • A urinary catheter may be in place to drain urine from your bladder.
  • You will have one or two drains in your abdomen close to your wound site to allow any collecting blood to drain away. The tubes are attached to containers so that the fluid can be measured daily. Take care not to pull on the tubing.
  • Your doctor will order pain relief and anti-nausea medications for you. Please tell your nurse if you have any pain or nausea, so these symptoms can be managed.
  • Following your operation you will be offered ice to suck or water to sip. After a few hours you can begin to drink fluids as you are able. Intravenous fluids (a drip) will be administered until you are able to eat and drink.
  • You will be resting in bed in a 'jack knife' position—this means having your head elevated and pillows under you knees to keep them bent.
  • When you are feeling more awake your nurse will assist you to have a wash and change into your own bed clothes (if possible).
  • If requested by your doctor, a physiotherapist will visit the day following surgery to explain exercises that will help with your postoperative recovery.
  • It is important that you begin your breathing and leg exercises. These help prevent complications such as chest infections and blood clots in your legs and should be carried out every hour that you are awake.

Breathing exercises: take five long and slow deep breaths. Each breath should be deeper than the previous breath. Think about getting the air to the very bottom of your lungs.

Circulation exercises: firmly move your ankles up and down to stretch and contract your calf muscles.

Circulation Exercises

Postoperative phase—days one to three

Mobility

The day following your surgery (if instructed by your doctor) you will be assisted to mobilise by the nursing staff and/or physiotherapist. By the second day after your surgery you will be encouraged to mobilise independently, however your nurse can assist you if you still need some support or supervision. It is important to move around in order to maintain good circulation and prevent complications. While resting in bed you will need to remain in a 'jack knife' position. After the first few days you can decrease the amount of bend in your middle as you feel comfortable. It is advisable to plan quiet afternoons and rest. We suggest you limit your visitors.

Getting in and out of bed through side-lying

  • Gently brace as demonstrated by your physiotherapist. Bracing involves gentle activation of pelvic floor muscles and deep tummy muscles.
  • Make sure the bed is flat. Draw in the pelvic floor as you bend both knees up one at a time.
  • Roll over to your side without twisting too much and keep your knees bent.
  • With your top arm well in front of you, push your upper body forward and up, as you allow your legs to go down at the same time.
  • Remember to keep breathing, keep your knees bent, and come forward and up to sitting in one smooth action.
  • Always try to stand tall, with your shoulders relaxed as you walk.

Getting out of bed

Hygiene

You may only be able to have a sponge bath until your dressings are removed or you may be able to have a shower—this is dependant on the type of dressing your surgeon has used.

The day following your surgery nursing staff will assist you with your hygiene needs. By the second day after your surgery you will be encouraged to become more independent however your nurse can assist you if you still need some assistance or supervision.

Diet

The day following your surgery you should be able to resume your normal diet.

Treatments

You will need to continue wearing the anti-embolic stockings for the duration of your stay in hospital. The drain/s in your abdomen will be removed when ordered by your surgeon.

Dressings and drains

You will have a dressing over your wounds. One or two drains may be present in your abdominal wound. These drains are removed when the amount of drainage reduces to an appropriate level. You may need to go home with one or two drains still in place. If this occurs nursing staff will provide education on how to care for the drain/s prior to your discharge. Arrangements will also be made to have the drain's removed in the doctor's rooms. You will be wearing a support garment if this has been ordered by your surgeon. This is to be worn continuously for six weeks.

Observations

Your vital signs, wound and drain/s will be monitored regularly.

Medications

Your IV drip should be removed two or three days following your surgery. It will only remain in place longer if you are not tolerating an adequate oral intake or if medications are required intravenously.

Please tell your nurse if you have any pain or nausea, so these symptoms can be managed.

Elimination

Your urinary catheter will remain in place until the first or second day after your surgery.

Consults

Your surgeon will visit daily to discuss your progress. If requested by your doctor a physiotherapist will visit you during your stay to provide advice and information on exercises required to assist your recovery.

Day of discharge—day three to six

  • Discharge time is 10 am.
  • A discharge summary form will be discussed and provided.
  • Your own medications will be returned to you and any new ones supplied.
  • Your X-rays will be returned to you. Please remember to ask for them.
  • Your postoperative appointment will be discussed—this should be four to six weeks after your surgery.

What to expect after you go home

Pain management

You may require some mild pain relief for wound discomfort as ordered by your surgeon.

Wound management

You may notice slight redness, swelling and bruising around the wound—this is normal. Nursing staff will provide you with information re ongoing management of your wound and drain/s (if applicable). If you are wearing a support garment this must remain in place for six weeks.

Activity

Avoid heavy lifting and any strenuous activity that may cause unnecessary strain on your wound for six weeks after your surgery. It is important that you maintain mobility at home. Begin with short walks and aim to gradually increase your activity as you feel comfortable.

Refer to the information provided by your physiotherapist for further advice on suitable exercises. Continue to wear the anti-embolic stockings, especially overnight, for at least one to two weeks after your surgery.

Nutrition

You should aim to drink between six to eight glasses of fluid per day—at least half of this should be water. This promotes good bladder and bowel function. Maintaining a healthy and nutritious diet will also aid your recovery.

Driving

Your doctor will be able to advise you when you are able to drive again. It is advisable to contact your car insurance company to find out when you are covered to drive again.

It is important to notify your surgeon if:

  • you notice any unusual discharge from your wound or if it becomes red or inflamed
  • you develop a fever (temperature above 38°)
  • you have pain that is not relieved by simple analgesia
  • you have nausea or vomiting which does not settle.

Mater Private Hospital Brisbane Map

Mater acknowledges consumer consultation in the development of this patient information.
Mater Doc Num: PI-CLN-450038
Last modified 09/8/2017.
Consumers were consulted in the development of this patient information.
Last consumer engagement date: 28/8/2014
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