Medication Information


Our goal is to help you stay safe and comfortable after surgery! Rest and relaxation are important for optimal healing. Pain after surgery is your body’s guide to ensure you rest or modify your activity as needed. For this reason, it is best not to use medication to eradicate pain, but rather as one of several methods to help you rest and relax. Your needs will change each day so remember to pay attention to your body. You are in charge!

Narco&cs: Norco (Hydrocodone/Acetaminophen) or Percocet (Oxycodone/Acetaminophen)

  •  All narco)cs carry risks of decreased breathing, nausea, itching, and addic)on.
  •  Minimize risk by taking the smallest possible dose.
  •  The dosage on the label is the maximum dose, NOT the recommended dose.
  • Keep a log of when you take your pills so you do not take more than
  • recommended. o It is best to take only one type of pill at a )me so you can monitor the effect.

Muscle relaxer: Valium (Diazepam)

  • Valium is a muscle relaxant which can cause drowsiness las)ng up to 8 hours.
    Start with a dose of 5 mg and increase to 10 mg if you are not too drowsy.
    Do not take at the same )me as the narco)c as they both make you drowsy.
    Valium has an)-anxiety proper)es so it may also be a help the night before surgery. Do not use Valium if you already take benzodiazepines.

Anti-inflammatory: Ibuprofen or Tylenol (acetaminophen)

  • Your body creates its own an)-inflammatory during the day, but these levels drop at night. You may no)ce your discomfort starts to get worse in the evening. This is normal.
  •  Tylenol is contained in the narco)c medica)on you are taking. You may take Tylenol in addi)on to narco)c, only if you carefully follow the amount of Tylenol in a 24 hour period.
  •  Total Tylenol does should not exceed 4000 mg in 24 hours. Most people can take 2 extra strength Tylenol (500 mg) as long as they do not take more than 6 narco)c pain pills (Norco/Percocet) in a 24 hour period.
  • You can take ibuprofen 400-600 mg as needed every 6 hours. You can alternate this with other medica)ons at different )mes of the day.
  • Total ibuprofen should not be more than 2400 mg a day (600 mg 4 )mes a day).
    Wait to start ibuprofen un)l the morning aWer surgery, as they give you a large doseduring surgery.

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

Some people like to take ibuprofen at night with the valium to help feel relaxed before bed.

Some people will get stomach upset if taking large amounts of Ibuprofen over several days. Tylenol does not have this side effect which is why it is standardly contained in the narco)c medica)ons, Norco and Percocet.

If you are not taking narco)cs, you can take up to Tylenol up to the maximum 4000 mg in a 24 hour period (8 of the 500 mg tablets).

Anti-Nausea: Zofran (ondansetron) or Scopolamine patch

Zofran is a very effec)ve an)-nausea medica)on. Like any medica)on it should only be taken as treatment for nausea. Do not take this as a preventa)ve, only take it to treat exis)ng nausea.

Nausea is can be a sign of many infec)on or over-medica)on with narco)cs.
Nausea immediately aWer surgery can simply be your body’s way of forcing you to laydown and be s)ll.
o If you have persistent nausea, check that your oxygen level is above 94%, that you are staying hydrated, and that your compression is snug but not too )ght.


  •  Depending on your procedure, you will receive an IV an)bio)c during your surgery.
    We do not prescribe an)bio)cs aWer surgery unless you develop an infec)on. Keepingyour surgery site very clean both before and aWer surgery is the most important way to prevent infection.
  •  If you develop symptoms of and infec)on such as, nausea, fever, chills, redness, etc. we
  • will see you in the office to check your wound and send a wound fluid or urine sample. If you have concerns about this please call our office to be seen. 801-278-9062
    • It is common to go 3-4 days without a bowel movement after surgery. Your system is a bit off balance due to sleep and diet changes and sometimes a bit of patience is needed for things to return to normal. 
    • If you already suffer with constipation, try to treat this going into surgery for your comfort.
    • We encourage the use of MiraLAX or similar fiber supplement to help your system by adding fiber to the fluids you are drinking to prevent constipation. 
    • We also encourage a small dose of Milk of Magnesia at night as magnesium supplementation is often helpful. 
    • If you are suffering discomfort from constipation, the best treatment is a Dulcolax suppository. 
    • These medications can be found over the counter at any pharmacy. 
    • Using narcotics can increase constipation.
    • Please avoid laxative and stool softeners, as these can result in unwanted diarrhea and cramping.

Itching: Itching can be from skin irrita)on from the surgery soap or bandages. Itching can also be related to narco)c use. If you experience itching try cleaning your skin with gentle soap and lo)on and limit your narco)c dosage. You may also try Benadryl (diphenhydramine) which can be found either a cream or pills. Benadryl can have a seda)ve effect so be careful when taking it with other medica)ons.

Sore throat: Your throat may become overly dry or suffer discomfort from pressure due to your breathing tube in surgery. This is an extremely common side effect of surgery and the good news is that it goes away quickly. Try some hard candy or warm tea for comfort.

Muscle Aches: It is common to wake up from surgery with some soreness your shoulders or back. The good news is that it gets beeer on its own over a short period of )me. Massage, hot or cold packs and an)-inflammatories can be used. Any new ache or pain in your legs or chest could be a sign of a blood clot and would need emergency aeen)on. Stay sober and carefully monitor any symptoms. Get evaluated by an emergency room if your symptoms seem atypical.

Heartburn: Surgery can increase problems with gastro-esophageal reflux, especially after a tummy tuck procedure. Pepcid (famo)dine), Pepto Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate), and TUMS are all available over the counter and can work wonders. Remember that chest pain can be a sign of a much more serious problem such as blood clot, pneumonia, or heart aeack. Stay sober and carefully monitor any symptoms of chest pain. Get evaluated by an emergency room if your symptoms seem atypical.

Headache: After surgery, headaches are common. Missing your regular daily caffeine dose is frequently the cause. Even if you don’t use caffeine daily, a small dose can help. Low oxygen can also be a cause, so be sure to rule out this possibility by checking your oxygen satura)on and making sure it is above 94% (we may have provided you with a pulse oximeter or you can purchase one at most drug stores). Stay sober and carefullymonitor any symptoms of headache. Get evaluated by an emergency room if your symptoms seem atypical.