Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Liquid Diet Before Tummy Tuck

If you’ve had a stomach stapling procedure, you might be wondering if you’ll be able to drink liquid diet before tummy tuck. After all, you’re probably looking forward to getting your new body back and feeling better than ever.

But as much as you want to get back to your normal routine, it’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully so that you can avoid complications and make sure that your body is ready for the next step. In this guide, we review the aspects of Liquid Diet Before Tummy Tuck, can i eat spicy food after tummy tuck, difficulty eating after tummy tuck, and post tummy tuck diet plan.

In this article, we’ll discuss what liquid diet before tummy tuck means and how it works. We’ll also talk about what types of foods are acceptable on a liquid diet, how long these diets last, and some tips for making sure they’re safe and effective.

Liquid Diet Before Tummy Tuck

When you’re considering a surgical procedure, you have to be aware that you’re about to put your body through a significant level of stress and trauma. And of course, much of that trauma is caused by the surgical incision itself.

Diet has a huge factor in the healing process and has a direct impact on your recovery rate and can even minimize scarring. By following a very specific diet, both before and after the procedure, patients can reduce swelling and inflammation while ensuring optimal healing of the incision.

On the other hand, bad eating habits can worsen inflammation, decrease collagen synthesis, that is needed for scar and skin formation, slow down your body’s immune activity, and decrease the strength of connective tissues.

If you are considering any type of plastic surgery procedure, it’s highly advised that you follow a healthy pre- and post-surgery diet. Let’s talk about how you can do that.

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Pre-Surgery Diet: What You Should Eat and Foods to Avoid

The first step every person needs to take is to avoid processed foods, especially carbohydrates like bread, rice and cereal, as these are known to promote inflammation.

Essentially, your diet should consist of fresh, natural products. Focus on eating real foods. Food that came from the earth rather than a box or man made. Cooking from scratch will prepare your body and is the key to success. Anything else that comes from a box, can or container should be avoided.

Throughout the day you should then minimize carbohydrates like bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, and instead, rely on an abundance of non-starchy vegetables as your predominant source of carbs.

Many fresh fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C, which is critical for new collagen synthesis and effective wound healing. If there is any deficiency in vitamin C, it can delay the healing process significantly.

Omega 3-rich food sources include fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, and tuna, along with chia seeds, flaxseeds and walnuts. Olive oil is another anti-inflammatory fat that you can use in salad dressings or for cooking purposes.

Your Post-Surgery Diet: Foods That Promote Healing

The first night after surgery, patients should eat a light meal. That typically begins with clear liquids. Patients may then progress to heavier foods as they can tolerate them.

Once you’re back to eating regular food, it’s best to continue with the same anti-inflammatory and antioxidant diet you were eating before the procedure. However, eating more protein is the main difference compared to the pre-op diet.

Protein, which is made up of amino acids, is needed to build new cells and structures efficiently throughout the entire healing process. Immune system cells are predominantly made up of proteins and assist in balancing the inflammatory response in the body. Collagen is also a protein, which you need for proper scar and skin repair.

Although eating healthy does require a fair amount of discipline, the efforts are well worth it. When patients follow the guidelines on how to eat before and after surgery, most are surprised at how good they feel.

Pre-Tummy Tuck Diet Recommendations

First of all, patients should not try to “lose a quick ten or fifteen pounds” prior to their planned tummy tuck surgery in order to get “better results”. Patients are best served by continuing with their current diets and starting to make the slow and gradual changes that will help them move towards a more “healthful” long-term diet, including:

  • Reducing highly refined and processed carbohydrates (chips, candies, sodas, etc.)
  • Adding complex, nutritious carbohydrates (fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, etc.)
  • Incorporating more high-quality protein sources
  • Incorporating high-quality dietary fats (omega-3’s, MUFA’s, PUFA’s)   

Crash diets can all produce dramatic weight losses on the scales, but far too much of the weight being lost consists of the lean body tissues that are so responsible for long-term weight loss success. Extreme low carb/keto diets and low-fat diets are dead-ended metabolic traps. 

What to Do Before Your Tummy Tuck

Prepare yourself for the stresses of surgery by doing the following:

  1. Keep yourself well hydrated. The body is amazingly more efficient when hydration is optimal.  Start several days prior to surgery with electrolyte replacement fluids (PowerAid, Gatorade, Pedialyte, etc.) and continue these (along with liberal water intake) for at least a full week after your procedure.
  2. Optimize your protein stores. Proteins are crucial to wound healing and scar formation. Increase your protein intake prior to (and after) surgery by incorporating healthy high-protein snacks and high-protein shakes into your daily diet.
  3. Optimize your energy stores. Your body’s most important metabolic fuel is glucose. Make sure your body has enough of it on board by eating enough complex carbohydrates prior to surgery. (Now is not the time to deplete your glucose/glycogen stores by living the keto life). 
  4. Shift your body to an anti-inflammatory state. Inflammation is the enemy of healing and optimal scar formation. Reduce the intake of pro-inflammatory foods (refined carbohydrates, omega-6 and saturated fatty acids, etc.) and increase the intake of anti-inflammatory foods rich in antioxidants (fresh fruits and vegetables, omega-3 fatty acids, etc.).
  5. Maximize your GI health (which can be disturbed post-operatively by prescribed antibiotics) with probiotics. These can be in the form of yogurts with active cultures (Activa, et al.), active culture drinks (Kombucha, Kefir, et al.), or supplements (1MD Complete Probiotics Platinum, et al.). 

A recommended schedule for incorporating these dietary changes before and after surgery can be found below.


Post-Tummy Tuck Diet Plan Recommendations

After the tummy tuck, you should advance your diet slowly and carefully as tolerated.  Drink water, Ginger Ale (that has been allowed to go flat), and electrolyte replacement drinks to maintain adequate hydration. In terms of solid foods, start with bland crackers (saltines, Belvita, et al.) and then advance to more substantial intake as tolerated.  
If postoperative oral antibiotics have been prescribed, it is especially important to maintain gut health with probiotics, so start these as soon as possible.  They can help re-establish populations of healthy bacteria and yeasts within the GI tract for proper digestion and absorption.
Finally, get up and moving as soon as possible following Abdominoplasty.  Regardless of how much protein is being taken in via the diet, muscle wasting can be significant with immobility (total inactivity can lead to a 10-20% decrease in muscle strength over the course of just a week). Furthermore, early mobilization is essential to preventing the development of potentially dangerous blood clots in the legs.

Long-Term Recommendations

Abdominoplasty surgery is not a substitute for a healthy diet and exercise.  Conversely, diet and exercise alone often cannot correct the mechanical problems (separated muscles, stretched out skin, deposits of hormonal/diet-resistant fat cells) that are so bothersome to the patient after pregnancy or after significant weight loss. In fact, the two often work synergistically with one another, not exclusively with one another. 

Eating a “healthier” diet can mean many things. In broad generalities, however, it most often means:

  1. Eating better quality complex carbohydrates (more fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, etc.) and less refined carbohydrates (chips, candies, sodas, processed foods, etc.).
  2. Eating better quality fats rich in omega-3 fatty acids (olive oils, salmon, walnuts, soybeans, etc.)
  3. Eating more high-quality proteins (fish, poultry, lean meats, dairy products, nuts and seeds, lentils and beans, etc.).
  4. Eating only the quantity of calories that you actually need.

A great starting point for most patients would be to become acquainted with the so-called Mediterranean Diet, which is not a diet at all, but rather a way of life. This does not mean that someone must learn to eat hummus, whether they like it or not.  It means that highly processed, refined foods will be replaced with fresh, wholesome foods that do not come out of a bag, box, or drive-through window. It means that portions will be smaller, yet more satisfying. It is all about increasing nutritional quality while decreasing caloric quantity.

Get ready for your surgery by starting to eat smarter and healthier. Implement these diet guidelines before and after your tummy tuck procedure to ensure a sustained lifestyle that can help you get the most out of your abdominoplasty procedure!

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Things to Avoid After Tummy Tuck

Just like some foods can help promote a speedy recovery, other foods can slow down the process. Processed foods are typically high in salt and sugar, which can increase bloating and cholesterol — slowing down your healing process. That’s why you should avoid foods such as:

  • Fried foods
  • Baked goods
  • Sodas
  • Fast food
  • Sugary cereals
  • Foods high in sugar and salt
  • Alcohol

Foods to Eat After a Tummy Tuck

Eating the right foods is one of the fastest ways to heal post-surgery. That’s why it’s important to stock up beforehand and follow your doctor’s instructions for what foods to avoid. Crucial foods to keep in your kitchen for after your tummy tuck include:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C and A
  • Proteins — such as meat, beans, and eggs
  • Omega-3-rich foods — such as mackerel, salmon, chia seeds, and walnuts
  • Dairy products such as milk and yogurt (once you’ve resumed having bowel movements)
  • Vitamins — such as arnica and bromelain found in bananas and avocado — to reduce bruising
  • Grains and nuts
  • Water — and plenty of it (64oz a day)

What to Expect Post Surgery

It can take up to six weeks for you to recover fully from a tummy tuck. Until then, you should follow the instructions provided by your doctor — including information about using ice packs, how often you should walk, what medications to take and how often, and other considerations. You should also avoid smoking before and after your surgery since nicotine can restrict blood flow and increase your risk of infection. Talk to your doctor before exercising and to follow-up on any other post-surgery questions you may have.

How to Maintain a Flat Stomach After a Tummy Tuck

In order to make sure you get the best results possible, you need to take tummy tuck recovery seriously. A tummy tuck removes any hanging skin and excess fat around the abdomen, resulting in a trim, toned stomach, and is a popular procedure after major weight loss or pregnancy, helping patients show off their new and fit physique or reclaim their pre-pregnancy body. 

The last thing you want to do is complicate your health and new flat tummy by not adhering to the guidelines of a tummy tuck recovery plan. There are certain things you need to avoid during the process to make sure there are no complications, that all sutures heal properly, and you get long-lasting results. Dr. Leo Lapuerta is a triple-board-certified plastic surgeon with over 20 years of experience performing various surgeries, including tummy tucks, helping patients in Houston, Pearland, and Katy, Texas, say “bye-bye” to their belly. Here is his list of exactly what recovering patients need to avoid after a tummy tuck procedure.

Don’t Attempt Recovery Solo

During tummy tuck recovery, you will need help. Even if you are usually an independent person in every phase of your life, you need to let your guard down and ask your support system for help. This can be friends, family, coworkers, or any other individual who cares about you. Tummy tuck recovery involves a lot of rest, and you will not be able to perform a lot of the daily tasks that are a standard part of your everyday life. That is why you need to make arrangements before the procedure to make sure you and your support system are prepared for your recovery.

Don’t Stay Totally Sedentary

Following surgery, you will likely be tired and in some discomfort, and all you will want to do is rest. This will be especially true if your plastic surgeon also utilized liposuction to help you get the best possible results. However, after surgery, it is important to get your blood flowing to avoid the formation of blood clots. You may be asked to walk around as early as the first day of your tummy tuck recovery, with a friend or family member assisting you as you try to get your blood pumping to aid the healing process. No matter what, do not walk around alone, since your balance and strength can be affected for the first couple of days following the surgery.

No Alcohol with Pain Medication

If you are prescribed pain medication to help treat any discomfort, then you need to avoid drinking alcohol. Mixing alcohol with pain medication is always a bad idea, especially if your body is recovering from a surgical procedure and your surgery required the use of anesthesia.

No Nicotine of Any Kind

Nicotine can hurt the healing process. You need to avoid smoking for at least the first six weeks of tummy tuck recovery, as smoking can lead to complications and hinder your ability to fully recover.

Avoid Strenuous Activities and Lifting Heavy Objects

In the early phase of your tummy tuck recovery, you want to avoid putting needless pressure on your incision site. Lifting heaving objects and other strenuous activities—moving any objects over five pounds, bending and twisting for household chores, and other exercises—are huge hindrances that will easily cause pressure. Patients are generally asked to avoid strenuous activities for six weeks following surgery.

Stay Home from Work for Two to Three Weeks

You cannot recover from tummy tuck surgery at work. You need to be at home, comfortable, and relaxed for two to three weeks following surgery. Tummy tuck recovery is different for everyone, and some patients have returned to work in as little as 10 days; however, the typical patient needs to take at least 14 days off to give themselves the time they need to heal.

Keep Your Scar Out of the Sun

Regardless of whether you undergo a full tummy tuck or mini tummy tuck, the incision is strategically made in order to hide the resulting scar from being easily visible. Depending on the skill and expertise of your plastic surgeon, the incision should be made in such a way that it cannot be seen when you are wearing clothing, even if you are in a swimsuit. However, during tummy tuck recovery, it is the patient’s responsibility to do everything possible to help the scar properly heal so that it will fade over time. That means keeping the scar out of the sun, since the sun will make the scar worse via causing inflammation and discoloration. If you are unable to avoid the sun, liberally apply sunscreen and reapply at least every hour.

Don’t Sleep on Your Stomach

If you are a stomach sleeper, you’ll want to practice sleeping in a different position in the weeks leading up to surgery. Until all soreness has gone away, you are advised to avoid sleeping on your stomach. Not only will this help you avoid discomfort while sleeping, but it also will put less stress on your stomach when you try to switch from a lying position to a sitting position.

Avoid Drastic Weight Gain

Now that you have a firm stomach, you need to avoid any drastic weight fluctuations. A tummy tuck is a long-lasting and effective procedure that removes excess hanging skin from around the belly, but gaining weight will reverse the effects of the procedure. Your skin will stretch back out, resulting in a return of the dreaded loose skin that your tummy tuck surgery removed. In order to make sure the results of your tummy tuck last, try to keep your weight from going above the level it was at when you underwent the procedure. 

can i eat spicy food after tummy tuck

Guest blog post is by Dr. Robert Tornambe. Dr. Tornambe is considered one of the top plastic surgeons in New York. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Learn more about Dr. Tornambe.

Are There Foods I Should Avoid After a Tummy Tuck?

If you have recently lost weight or had a baby, you may have excess saggy skin hanging around your middle. While in some ways this is a badge of honor, speaking to what you and your body have been through together, it can also be a sore spot.

For those wanting to get back to feeling and looking like their true selves, getting a tummy tuck is an appealing option to remove the excess sag and reveal the true form beneath.

But if you are like many considering this operation, you may also be worried about the recovery process and ensuring that you do whatever it takes to heal faster and keep your new look. Many wonder if there are foods that should be avoided (or consumed) to help post-op.

In fact, there are quite a few foods that you should avoid after your tummy tuck operation. Keep reading to see what these foods are, as well as what foods you can add to your diet to help the healing process.

What Is the Typical Tummy Tuck Recovery Time?

After a tummy tuck, individuals should expect at least 1-2 weeks of very strict rest. Afterwards, most physicians agree that a patient may return to their typical work.

Exercise, strenuous activity, and really any activity that would put extra strain on the abdominal muscles should be avoided anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months.

There are some foods that may slow the healing process or even cause added discomfort post-op. Since it is only for a short time in the long run, it is worth avoiding the following foods to help your body heal and prevent adding additional post-surgery discomfort:

Essentially, you want to avoid foods that are going to make your body work hard just to process them without doing much to feed your system the nutrients it needs. Avoid foods that may cause gas and bloating or food/drink that will rob your body of what it needs to heal quickly.

Just as there are foods and substances that hinder healing, there are definitely those that can help your body heal and recover more quickly.

difficulty eating after tummy tuck

With the dramatic changes that can be made to a patient’s midsection during tummy tuck surgery, many men and women wonder how their stomach will feel and whether they’ll eat less – and lose weight – after their procedure. It is important for patients to understand that tummy tuck surgery is not designed as a weight loss procedure, nor is it considered an appetite suppressant. However, some patients may, in fact, experience a temporarily decreased appetite after tummy tuck surgery. Review the information below from Newport Beach board-certified plastic surgeon and body contouring expert Dr. Sean Kelishadi to gain a better understanding of how tummy tuck surgery may or may not affect your appetite and eating habits.

Can a tummy tuck help me lose weight?

While liposuction is often combined with the tummy tuck to address stubborn pockets of fatty tissue, it is critical that patients considering a tummy tuck understand that the procedure is not a substitute for diet, exercise, or weight loss surgery. In fact, ideal candidates for tummy tuck surgery should already be at or near their goal weight.

With that said, many patients do lose a small amount of weight following tummy tuck surgery, which is often associated with the excess skin and other tissue being removed during the procedure. Additionally, getting rid of loose, cumbersome skin with a tummy tuck can make it much easier and more comfortable for patients to participate in physical activities and exercise. This leads many men and women to begin or resume a more dedicated fitness regimen after tummy tuck surgery, which may further their weight loss efforts.

Will my stomach be smaller after a tummy tuck?

Abdominoplasty surgery does not impact the size of the stomach or intestines themselves. Instead, the tummy tuck is used to address a number of cosmetic and structural concerns that typically result from aging, pregnancy, and weight loss, including:

By removing loose skin, reinforcing the ab muscles, and tightening the remaining skin, tummy tuck surgery gives patients a strikingly smooth, natural-looking new contour.

Will I have to eat less after a tummy tuck?

Again, the tummy tuck does not alter the size or capacity of the true stomach in the way that a lap band or other weight loss procedure does. However, many patients experience a tight or constricted feeling almost immediately after tummy tuck surgery, which can be attributed to their sutures, tighter skin, reinforced muscles, postoperative swelling, and other factors. This often makes it uncomfortable to eat a large meal, with some patients reporting a decreased appetite overall. In the majority of cases, this temporary side effect of tummy tuck surgery resolves within about 3 – 6 weeks or less, and patients can return to their normal eating habits.

Even when your appetite returns after tummy tuck surgery, it is important to maintain a stable weight through a consistent, healthy diet and routine exercise in order to preserve your cosmetic results over time.

See yourself as slim and sexy with a life-changing tummy tuck in Orange County, CA

Have you done everything possible to transform your figure but still have stubborn fat and loose abdominal skin that won’t seem to budge? If so, you may be a candidate for tummy tuck surgery. To start your journey toward a whole new you, call SSK Plastic Surgery to schedule your private consultation for a tummy tuck in Newport Beach, CA with award-winning board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Sean Kelishadi today.

post tummy tuck diet plan

Tummy tuck surgery treats unwanted loose skin and fat pockets in your midsection. Even though a plastic surgeon should review the operation in detail, it’s important to learn what to expect, especially during recovery. Knowing what to eat before and after body contouring surgery in Houston, TX is an often overlooked part of the process.

Even minor surgery can take a toll on your body. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jay Shenaq is here to make your time in recovery as seamless as possible. Learn more by reading below or scheduling a tummy tuck consultation at Plastic Surgery of Houston. Our dedicated professionals are happy to discuss which foods will benefit you the most.

About Body Contouring Surgery

A tummy tuck is a cosmetic surgery that slims down the abdominal area. Dr. Shenaq removes loose or hanging skin caused by pregnancy or significant weight loss. Liposuction is also employed to treat small amounts of fat. Different tummy tuck treatments are recommended based on the area that needs to be tightened. For example, a mini tuck manages mild to moderate loose skin, while a full tummy tuck is for more advanced cases.

During your consultation in Houston, TX, our clinic creates a custom treatment plan. This means our dietary requirements may change based on your needs and personal health. However, we recommend the following as a general set of guidelines to follow.

What to Eat Before Tummy Tuck Surgery

Patients should be careful about what they eat before undergoing tummy tuck surgery. Your diet should contain the daily recommended amount of fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains, and protein. This is because leafy greens reduce inflammation, while protein builds and repairs tissues that have been damaged during surgery. Grains and nuts help your body produce new cells. The most important part of meal planning during this time is making sure all of your nutritional needs are filled.

What to Eat After Tummy Tuck Surgery

There are no specific restrictions about what to eat immediately after a tummy tuck. Patients should try to keep their diets light for the first several days. Continue to eat nutritious meals that are easy on the stomach. Whole-grain cereals, yogurt, soups, and soft cheeses are always good choices. Protein shakes are also packed with the protein you need to support your recovery. Try to develop smart eating habits you’ll be able to stick with on a long-term basis. This includes avoiding processed food and learning about portion control.

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