Diet before and after the tummy tuck
Diet before and after the tummy tuck
Many people nowadays resort to plastic surgery to correct the appearance of the tummy that has lost its appeal and firmness. This is often the case for women who have had multiple pregnancies or men and women who have lost a significant amount of weight and are now left with saggy skin all over the lower part of the abdomen.
While the procedure is certainly not new, it is still covered in myth. A common myth associated with the tummy tuck is undergoing a tummy tuck to lose weight. It is important to understand straight away that plastic surgery, including tummy tuck and liposuction, are not to be used for weight loss purposes. These are procedures meant to reshape and recontour different parts of the body, but they can’t be used to treat obesity. This is the reason why the patient’s weight and diet before and after surgery are important for the success of the procedure and sustaining the results for longer.
In this article, we will discuss the diet before and after the tummy tuck as well as the relationship between weight and a successful abdominoplasty.
Weight loss, normal weight, and the tummy tuck
The tummy tuck is one of the procedures recommended and often performed on patients who have lost a significant amount of weight. The weight loss could have occurred after following a program or after bariatric surgery. When weight loss happens, especially for people after a certain age and who have been obese or severely overweight, the skin doesn’t just retract on the new contours of the body. This means that if you lose a significant amount of weight, your skin will still look like could accommodate that amount of weight, becoming saggy and creating skin folds in different areas of the body. Most patients who have lost weight suddenly realize that the skin doesn’t retract on the new contours of the body after the fat tissue is gone, and the skin will just stay in its position and create folds.
When it comes to the skin’s appearance on the tummy after considerable weight loss, it may look like the patient has an apron on. This means that one or multiple skin folds are present on the inferior part of the tummy covering the pubic area partially or completely. This is not an appealing sight, and patients with skin folds on the tummy will resort to plastic surgery to correct this unsightly appearance of the tummy.
When the tummy tuck is performed on patients who have lost weight before the procedure, the recommendation is to wait at least six to eight months after getting to your normal weight before scheduling the procedure. Why is this important? Well, the tummy tuck should be performed only on people who have completed the weight loss process because if more weight loss occurs after abdominoplasty, skin sagginess could occur again on the abdominal area. Moreover, if weight gain occurs after the tummy tuck, the results of the procedure would be altered again.
The tummy tuck performed on patients who used to be obese or overweight often entails an incision from hip bone to hip bone on the suprapubic area. If skin folds are present on the flanks, the plastic surgeon will address them as well. When this happens, the procedure is called the extended tummy tuck and entails longer incisions and a more significant amount of skin to the removed than the traditional tummy tuck.
After the patient undergoes the tummy tuck, he can return home within hours after waking up from the anesthesia, but the post-operative period is essential to get satisfying results. What the patient eats after the tummy tuck can help him have a smoother and faster recovery period or do just the opposite.
Diet before the tummy tuck
Patients undergoing the tummy tuck have a preparation period of about a month before the procedure. During this time, there are certain instructions that need to be followed to the letter to avoid complications. Among these instructions, the plastic surgeon will also mention the diet you should keep before the tummy tuck.
Plastic surgery should only be performed on patients in a good health and emotional condition. This means that your body needs to be in good shape to undergo the surgery. In other words, the recommendation is not to keep any strict diets the weeks and even the month before the procedure is scheduled. A low intake of calories could determine a weak immune system that might find it difficult to fight infections or colds before the surgery. Any type of health condition, even something as trivial as a common cold, could determine a rescheduling of your procedure at a later date. Moreover, if your body is weak due to a lack of proper nutrition, the recovery after the tummy tuck can be longer and associated with more possible complications.
While it is not recommended to drink or eat anything eight hours before the tummy tuck, most experts would recommend having rich menus in the weeks before the procedure. This doesn’t mean that you should indulge in eating fast food or unhealthy dishes, but keep it nutritious and with enough calories.
Diet after the tummy tuck
The general recommendation for patients undergoing plastic surgery is to resume eating as soon as possible after the surgery. Moreover, they should also get off the bed hours after waking up to avoid the formation of blood clots. Patients who resume drinking and eating shortly after the surgical procedure and also start moving as soon as possible have been shown to have faster recovery periods and fewer complications. Even if you don’t feel like eating or drinking anything, having a bowl of soup or a tea as soon as possible helps you recover sooner and increase your immunity levels.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can have Chinese takeout immediately after surgery. The recommendation is to start eating and drinking as soon as possible, but not to overdo it. This means that you can start with a bowl of clear soup, then try some steamed veggies with a piece of lean meat or fish, a boiled egg in the morning with a piece of toast, things that are easy to digest, and won’t make you feel bloated and have plenty of calories and nutrients. Make sure to include sources of fiber in your diet. Constipation can occur during this time, and it is even more likely if you are predisposed towards it. Constipation is to be avoided at all costs after the tummy tuck as it might put unnecessary pressure on the abdominal muscles and cause the incisions to open.
Drink plenty of water and also include freshly squeezed fruits and vegetable juices and herbal infusions in your regimen. Alcohol, carbonated and caffeinated beverages are to be avoided for as long as possible after the tummy tuck as they might create bloating, interfere with the pain medication and create dehydration, and prolong the recovery period.
Refined sugars are also to be avoided after the tummy tuck as they are just empty calories. If you need to have something sweet, try a fruit smoothie or a piece of fruit that is healthier and better for you.
The diet before the tummy tuck can influence the recovery process, and the same is valid for the diet before the procedure. It is important for patients to avoid strict diets weeks before the tummy tuck. If you believe you need to lose more weight before your procedure, make sure to schedule the tummy tuck six to eight months after you have reached the ideal weight and stabilized it. This means that losing significant amounts of weight in the month before the procedure is not ideal. To undergo the tummy tuck, which is a major and complex procedure, your body needs to be in top condition.
The diet after the tummy tuck will help you avoid complications and speed up the recovery process or do just the opposite. After the tummy tuck, you should keep a balanced and healthy diet, with plenty of fresh or steamed vegetables, fruits, and lean meats. Also, make sure to drink enough water.