Tummy tuck also known as an abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck is a popular surgical procedure to remove excess fat and skin from the abdomen while tightening its muscle wall for a flatter, firmer appearance and waistline.
There is no exact diet to adhere to in preparation for or when recovering from a tummy tuck, but it’s critical you maintain a healthy, nutritious regimen to maximize and maintain optimal results.
Before the Procedure
Preparation can make or break your surgery. It heavily influences the outcome of the procedure and your recovery time. To ensure you achieve your desired results and have a speedy recovery, follow your surgeon’s instructions. Overall, it’s best to maintain general health in the weeks and days leading up to the tummy tuck.
To prepare for a tummy tuck, your surgeon will instruct you to stop using drugs, medications, and supplements that could increase bleeding. This may include herbal supplements, anti-inflammatories, or aspirin.
For those who smoke, stop at least two weeks prior. Patients should also cease using chewing tobacco, nicotine vape pens, nicotine patches, and nicotine gum. Smoking increases the chances of complications, including heart attack and stroke. It also decreases blood flow and heightens the chance of infection.
Additionally, you’ll want to keep a healthy diet to maintain your weight leading up to your surgery. Attempting to lose 10 to 15 pounds before surgery can lead to complications. Patients should also avoid crash diets or other dietary trends, such as keto.
In the weeks preceding the procedure, it’s essential to eat fresh fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C, such as guavas, kale, parsley, kiwis, and broccoli. Studies show that vitamin C can speed up the recovery time for bone fractures, improve type I collagen synthesis, decrease oxidative stress, and more—all of which can be helpful for the healing process from a tummy tuck.
Avoid processed foods, since they may increase inflammation. Minimize your carbohydrate intake for similar reasons—meaning cut down on bread, rice, pasta, and potatoes. An analysis of more than 2,000 men and women suggests high carb intake can lead to an increase in inflammatory markers.
To fight inflammation, consume omega 3-rich foods such as mackerel, salmon, chia seeds, or walnuts.
You should also refrain from eating foods high in sugar, which can cause swelling and a spike in blood sugar, leading to weight gain. One study involving 29 participants found consuming sugar-sweetened beverages each day for three weeks led to an increase in low-density lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol, insulin resistance, and inflammation.
In the one to two days leading up to surgery, it’s beneficial to get your body prepped with the necessary fluids. Drink those rich in electrolytes, such as Gatorade, Pedialyte, Powerade, or Smartwater. Eat high-protein, low-fat meals, such as grilled chicken salad, turkey meatballs, or fish dishes.
During this time, it’s also important to prep for recovery. Cook high-protein, low-fat, freezable meals your caregiver can microwave for you after surgery. It’s also a good idea to prepare protein shakes, as you may not want to eat solids for several hours.
After a Tummy Tuck
There are no specific restrictions immediately after a tummy tuck. However, you may want to keep your diet light for the next several days. Start with clear liquids, such as water, then move on to a soft diet of raw fruits and vegetables, whole-grain cereals, yogurt, soft cheeses, soups, and pudding. If none of these appeal to your stomach—which may occur while you’re adjusting to the changes or pain medication—try a protein shake, which is packed with the protein and fluids you need to support recovery.
Once you’re feeling up to it, you can return to a regular diet.
Although excess fat was removed during the abdominoplasty, the remaining fat cells can still grow and deflate depending on what you put into your body. It’s therefore critical you maintain a nutritious and healthy regimen to sustain the results of your procedure.
Try to develop healthy eating habits you’ll be able to stick with long term, such as curbing your processed food and takeout intake, portion controlling, and incorporating a variety of fresh foods into your daily meals.
Similar to the pre-diet, ensure you’re getting enough vitamin C and omega 3, while staying away from foods high in sugar and sodium. Your daily intake should be high in protein, so eat fresh eggs, almonds, chicken breast, cottage cheese, and lean beef. Incorporate fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
3 weeks post op tummy tuck swelling
After having plastic surgery, particularly with a procedure as transformative as the tummy tuck, it is completely normal to feel anxious and excited about seeing your newly enhanced look as soon as possible. While there may be a noticeable difference immediately after some procedures, the final results of most cosmetic surgeries – including tummy tuck – typically take weeks, months, or even longer to fully develop, as postoperative swelling subsides and incisions fade. It is important for men and women who are considering a tummy tuck to have realistic expectations about their recovery period and be patient throughout the healing process.
Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Christopher Khorsandi, Chief of Plastic Surgery at VIP Plastic Surgery in Las Vegas, NV, takes great care to ensure that patients not only undergo a safe and successful procedure with stunning results, but also that tummy tuck recovery is as comfortable, quick, and convenient as possible. If you are considering a tummy tuck, use this helpful information to prepare yourself appropriately for your surgery, recovery, and beyond.
What does tummy tuck do?
Also known as abdominoplasty, tummy tuck surgery is a substantial cosmetic procedure designed to help patients achieve or restore a slimmer, smoother, tighter abdominal contour through skin removal, muscle reinforcement, and other techniques. A tummy tuck is ideal for women who have had children, patients who have experienced significant weight loss, or those who simply have loose, hanging skin and stubborn pockets of fat due to the aging process.
During tummy tuck surgery in Las Vegas, NV, Dr. Khorsandi will make an incision on the lower abdomen, just above the pubic area. The length of the incision needed will vary based on how much skin needs to be removed and if any additional procedures are being performed. Dr. Khorsandi fully understands the importance of keeping cosmetic surgery discreet and shares in his patients’ desires to have the least amount of visible scarring possible, taking great care to place his incisions where they can be concealed with underwear or swimsuits, and keeping them as small and thin as they can be to allow for an ideal result.
In many cases, liposuction is used during tummy tuck to remove small pockets of fat from the abdomen and further elevate the patient’s final outcome. For patients suffering from diastasis recti, which is a common result of pregnancy or weight fluctuation, Dr. Khorsandi can reposition and reinforce the abdominal muscles and eliminate the telltale “mommy pooch” or pouch-like tummy. Once these corrections have been made, Dr. Khorsandi will carefully excise the loose, excess skin, pull the remaining skin tight, and secure it with sutures, resulting in a smooth, firm, sexy physique.
How long is tummy tuck recovery?
The recovery time after tummy tuck can vary somewhat depending on several factors, including the patient’s overall health and whether or not any other procedures were performed during the surgery. For example, women who combine a tummy tuck with breast augmentation, thigh lift, and other treatments as part of a full mommy makeover transformation may require extended recovery time. In general, tummy tuck patients should expect to take about two weeks off of work, depending on the physical demands of their jobs. Light activity can usually be resumed after about 1 – 2 weeks, while more strenuous physical activity and exercise should be paused for at least 6 – 8 weeks, or until cleared by your surgeon. Though there will be a noticeable difference in your abdominal contour relatively quickly, the results will continue to improve as the body heals and the swelling reduces over time.
How long does tummy tuck swelling last?
Arguably the most notable aspect of recovery after tummy tuck is postoperative swelling. This is a completely normal and expected part of tummy tuck recovery, as well as nearly any surgical procedure, so don’t be alarmed. Swelling after tummy tuck can last for several weeks, but there are some things you can do to help keep it under control. Three helpful ways to reduce tummy tuck swelling time include:
1. Wear compression garments: As part of your postoperative routine, you will be required to wear medical compression garments, specifically to reduce swelling and promote proper, efficient healing. It is critical that you wear your compression garments as directed, which may be 24/7 for several weeks.
2. Stay mobile: While it is essential that patients get plenty of rest during tummy tuck recovery, it is also important to incorporate very light walking into your daily routine. This helps to reduce swelling, improve circulation, and minimize the risk of postoperative complications, such as blood clots. Simply walking around the room or to and from the bathroom several times a day is usually sufficient for the first several days after surgery. Too much activity, or activities that are too strenuous, can actually slow your healing and cause complications as well. Talk to your surgeon about finding the right balance.
3. Watch your diet: Whether you have had surgery or not, eating too much salt can exacerbate swelling, bloating, and water retention. A common misconception is that drinking more water will make the swelling worse, but the opposite is actually true. Make sure you stay adequately hydrated and minimize your sodium intake to reduce tummy tuck swelling.
At your preoperative appointments, as well as on the day of surgery, Dr. Khorsandi will provide you with both written and verbal instructions to ensure that your recovery is as smooth, comfortable, and speedy as it can be.