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The Importance of Diet Before and After a 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.

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.