The human immune system plays a key role in healing and recovery from any surgical procedure. The immune system is in turn influenced by the diet. It is therefore correct to assert that the success of any surgical procedure will be partly hinged on the diet observed in the days leading up to the surgery and the recovery period afterwards. A tummy tuck is a major surgical procedure aimed at the removal of excess skin and fat from the abdominal region. This cosmetic surgery procedure may also be performed to restore the integrity of separated or weakened abdominal muscles resulting in a smooth and firm abdominal profile. Several factors may contribute to changes in the abdominal profile leading to an individual seeking a tummy tuck procedure. This article is aimed at addressing the dietary concerns surrounding abdominoplasty procedures and their success.
Paying keen attention to the food you eat may mean the difference between a successful tummy tuck or a painful flop. Prior to your surgery, it is recommended that you prepare and refrigerate a week or two worth of food. Chances are you will probably be up and about before the second week. Talk to your surgeon about the foods you should avoid and what to eat instead. As mentioned, food highly influences your immune system, which in turn will dictate how well the abdominoplasty procedure will heal.
Here’s what to avoid;
- High sodium content foods: High levels of sodium intake may promote fluid retention and swelling. This affects proper healing of your tummy after an abdominoplasty procedure.
- Vitamin E compounds are fat soluble vitamins hailed for their role in prevention of free radical damage and also as antioxidants. Vitamin E also repairs damaged skin and restores elasticity and moisture. However, Vitamin E is also known to cause complications for abdominoplasty patients. It causes blood clotting disruption which can severely affect the success of the tummy tuck procedure. It is recommended to completely avoid Vitamin E in the weeks leading up to the surgery.
- Vitamin supplements are ordinarily a great boost to your health and immune system in general. In the context of a tummy tuck procedure however, these supplements aren’t recommended. Vitamin supplements have been known to slow down the recovery process.
- Avoid carbonated drinks such as soda. The last thing you need after a tummy tuck procedure is a bloated tummy.
You’re generally advised to observe a protein rich diet regime in the days following the tummy tuck procedure. Proteins and essential amino acids heavily impact on the quality of healing and the resultant scars. Throw in a protein shake in every meal, and you’ll love the results. A healthy diet all the same is great for everyone, tummy tuck candidate or not. Fresh vegetables and fruits are good for your immune system which in the long run will impact on your abdominoplasty recovery.
In summary, a balanced diet high in proteins and fibers is the best choice you can make before and after your surgery. During this period your appetite may be curtailed which is often the case, but it’s all for a good cause. Regularly hydrate and avoid strenuous activity amongst other surgeon prescribed guidelines. Remember to adhere to your surgeon’s dietary prescriptions before the tummy tuck procedure and afterwards. The food you eat and your diet in general play a vital role in the success and subsequent healing of your tummy tuck procedure. Foods you previously deemed healthy may not be as good for you during the period following your abdominoplasty procedure.
Dr. Gregory H. Croll is the owner of his own practice, and the leading doctor for tummy tucks in Columbia, MO.