I would suggest avoiding either waxing or shaving the pubic area for several days prior to your tummy tuck. Both shaving and waxing can result in skin irritation which can allow bacterial colonization and could increase the risk of a wound infection. Check with your surgeon for their recommendations in this regard. Best wishes, Dr. Lepore.
Shaving causes micro-trauma to the skin, which can lead to increased bacteria growth and consequently to increased infection risk. It's best not to traumatize the skin prior to your surgery, so avoid shaving or waxing. If your surgeon feels that there is too much hair present, he or she may clip it right before surgery, which is less risky than shaving the day before or earlier. Your own hair actually doesn't cause problems for healing or infection, and I operate on hairy male arms, for example, without shaving at all. The steri-strip tapes often placed on the tummy tuck incision may not stick well, however, if there is too much hair growth.
The big concern is not waxing or shaving but getting infections in the hair roots. Best to do neither for a week or two prior to the surgery. If the surgeon needs to remove some hair it will be done immediately before the surgery to reduce this infection risk.
Thank you for your excellent question. I prefer to use an electric razor at the time of surgery to trim hair that may be in the operative field. This method has been proven to decrease the risk of post-operative infections. It is best to discuss this question with your board certified plastic surgeon for specific recommendations regarding what you should and should not be doing prior to your procedure. Good luck with your surgery.
To decrease the risk of post operative infections, it is best to stop all hair removal around the operative site two weeks ahead of time. This was discovered "the hard way" as cardiac patients used to be prepared for surgery by having their chest shaved the night before the operation. This actually lead to more sternal infections, compared to the group that just had the hair trimmed immediately before surgery using an electric trimmer. (Hairs that are trimmed flush to the skin occasionally create small "zits" or micro infections, which increases the risk of infecting your incision.)