What to expect on abdominoplasty surgery day?

Hello, I have an abdominoplasty scheduled and I just wanted to ask about what to expect on surgery day. What do I wear? Can I wear underwear to the OR? Am I allowed to wear nail polish or henna? Thanks!

Doctor Answers 16

On the day of your tummy tuck ...

Here is a brief version of our patients' journey on the day of an abdominoplasty.  Hope this helps.

On the day of surgery, we have our patients bring their pre-filled postoperative prescriptions and an overnight bag for the recovery center the patient is transported to after surgery.  The patient is checked in and papers are filled out.  After changing into a gown, they are brought into the preoperative area where the surgeon marks the incisions and areas undergoing liposuction.  The patient is brought into the operating room where an IV line is placed.  Patient is then put to sleep and the surgery is completed.  Patient is brought to a recovery room for monitoring.  After an hour or two, the patient is then transported to our recovery center in a robe and dressings.  They are expected to walk the same day and perform breathing exercises.  They are monitored at the recovery center and transferred to the office for the postoperative day one follow-up appointment.  

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 147 reviews

Follow Your Doctor's Instructions, But Here Are Some Tips

Every practice has its own well-established protocol, which should be closely followed. I am sure you received a set of preoperative instructions yourself. Nail polish and henna are generally OK, unless you are specifically instructed to avoid it. No underwear. Wear an old dress, gown, or pants that can be easily removed. You will have bulky postoperative dressings that may become wet and dirty from liposuction fluids, so do not wear anything tight or new. Good luck.

Zoran Potparic, MD
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Abdominoplasty Day of Surgery

Thank you for your question. 

Your abdominoplasty may be performed in a hospital or at our surgical outpatient facility. A general anesthetic is administered, so that you will be asleep throughout the procedure. When surgery is completed, you will be taken into a recovery area where you will continue to be closely monitored. Small drain tubes will have been placed within the abdominal tissues to help avoid accumulation of fluids. Gauze or other dressings may be applied to your abdomen and covered with tape or an elastic bandage.

You may be permitted to go home after a few hours unless you and the doctor have determined that you will stay in the hospital or our surgical facility overnight. Best of luck!

Dhaval M. Patel 

Double Board Certified 

Plastic Surgeon 

Hoffman Estates 




Dhaval M. Patel, MD
Hoffman Estates Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

What to expect

All doctors have different recommendations on how to prepare for surgery.  Often this is all gone over in your pre-op appointment before your surgery day.  I recommend that my patients wear loose fitting clothing to go home in with front closing buttons or zippers so that they do not need to pull anything over their head.  You are not able to wear your own underwear in the OR but are soimetimes given mesh underwear to wear into the OR.  Nail polish is ok to wear as long is it is not a dark color.  Henna is generally fine as long as it is not in the surgical area on the abdomen.  Always be sure to contact your surgeon  for their specific recommendations and good luck on your surgery.

Michael L. Workman, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

What to wear to surgery

Congrats on your tummy tuck surgery! Every surgery center has different recommendations on what to do to prepare for surgery but I would recommend wearing loose fitting clothing with zippers that do not need to be pullled over your head. Also, I recommend wearing dark colors to avoid stains from drainage from the incisions and bandages. You will mostly likely be given mesh underwear as you go into surgery. I do not recommend wearing nail polish and Henna should be find but don't recommend it to be on or near the surgery area, in this case your abdomen. Good luck on surgery day!

Kamran Azad, MD
Pasadena Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

What to wear

I would recommend wearing loose comfortable clothing preferably something that buttons or zips open in the front, You usually wear the sterile underwear the office gives you into the surgery. Nail polish is ok as long as it is not a dark color, and henna on the hands is no problem. 

Shain A. Cuber, MD
Edison Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Expect on Surgery Day

Thanks for your question. Every surgeon's instructions will vary, but your surgeon will explain everything to your during consultation.

The day of surgery, you will receive medications to keep you comfortable during the surgical procedure. A board certified anesthesiologist will be present to administer the sedatives or general anesthesia. Various monitors will be set up to check your heart, blood pressure, pulse, and the amount of oxygen circulating in your blood.Your surgeon will follow the surgical plan discussed in consultation. He or she may change the technique to ensure the best results. Surgical drains may also be placed, and surgical dressings use will depend on the procedures you undergo. After surgery, you will be taken into a recovery area where you will be monitored by a nurse. You may be able to go home the day of surgery or spend one or two nights in the recovery suites with a nurse. You will certainly need some help from a family member or friend during the recovery period.

German Newall, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

What to expect on abdominoplasty surgery day?

This is the kind of specific information that we give our patients at their preop appointment 2-3 weeks prior to surgery, and at that time they receive printed instructions for what to do and what to expect on their surgery day, and then we call the patient again on the day before surgery to remind them of these specifics. I would assume that your surgeon's office would have a similar process in place.

Robert M. Grenley, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Day of tummy tuck surgery

Hopefully your surgeon and his/her staff will have a thorough "preop" visit with you and all of this will be answered clearly. No 2 offices do this the same way so best to check with yours on the specifics.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Tummy Tuck

Wear loose pants, and loose button up top.  No nail polish, henna ok on other parts of the body.  Bring some cozy socks and slippers. You will have to remove underwear. Jane

Jane M. Rowley, MD
Lubbock Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.