CAREGIVERS: You do not need to have nursing experience, but you do need to be present to receive additional instructions on the day of surgery. We emailed post op instructions to the patient 2-3 weeks ago and additional information may be given the day of surgery. You will need to translate these to the patient or other caregiver if you are not staying with the patient throughout their recovery. Someone should be with the patient for the first 24 hours and be available to drive depending on the needs of the patient for at least another week.
INCENTIVE SPIROMETER (IS) (Tummy Tuck Only): Use the IS 10 times per hour while awake. Inhale slowly and steadily through the mouthpiece. The goal is 1500-2000 ml each time. Break it up into 2-3 sessions of 3-4 times per hour.
FINGER PULSE OX (Tummy Tuck Only): We want our patients’ oxygen levels to be 94% or higher. If it is low have the patient cough (hugging a pillow for support), use IS and/or loosen compression – if oxygen doesn’t go up to 94% and stay there, please call the office.
DIZZINESS: When helping change positions take it slow. Lay – sit – stand. Give their body 30 seconds or more to adjust to the change in position before standing to decrease dizziness. Check their oxygen and have them lay down if they are dizzy or nauseated.
COMPRESSION: You can loosen the dressings if the patient is having a hard time taking a deep breath or has heart burn. Otherwise leave everything in place for 3 days.
DRAINAGE: Wounds drain either a little or a lot. Both are normal. We place absorbent clean material under the compression garments, change the gauze if it is saturated, otherwise leave everything in place until instructed otherwise.
SHOWER: Patients can shower 3 days after surgery. Stay close when they shower – they may get dizzy! They will take all compression and dressings off except for the steri-strips which are thin tape directly on the skin. Shower normally with soap. Put the compression back on. You don’t need to replace the gauze with more padding unless it is more comfortable.
ACTIVITY: Patients are encouraged to move and stand up straight. Patients may sleep in whichever position feels comfortable. Moving legs frequently and limited the amount of time with hips or knees bent is optimal to prevent blood clots.
BLOOD CLOTS: Any change in breathing, rapid heart rate, or pain/swelling in one leg is a sign of a blood clot. This is an emergency and needs to be evaluated to prevent potentially lethal complications.
MEDICATION: Patients need to be awake enough to keep their own pain medication diary. You can help them with this, but do not offer them pills unless they express need and are alert to avoid over sedation and complications.
DIET: Most patients are not hungry. This is normal. They should have constant access to fluids, but food should not be forced. If they are urinating and hydrated, we are happy.
CALL/TEXT 9-5 PM Monday-Friday: We want to be available for any questions! 801-278-9062.