Medically Reviewed April 2023, by George Samouris - Consultant Aesthetic Plastic Surgeon
As someone considering tummy tuck surgery, you might be wondering if there are any dietary changes you should make after surgery to enhance recovery. Frequently, patients ask questions about the impact of diet on the recovery process, and the simple answer is that there is no requirement for a specially adapted diet, but rather a well-balanced diet built around healthy eating habits is recommended. Additionally, we will discuss some specific food options that will aid the recovery process here.
Immediately after surgery, it is sensible to stick to a simplified diet plan consisting of sufficient water intake, soups, yoghurts, whole grains, soft fruits, pasta, vegetables, lean meat and if you like, protein shakes.
You should adjust your caloric intake to accommodate the reduced mobility you will experience during recovery in order to maintain your new body shape and confidence after tummy tuck surgery.
To provide your body with the fuel it needs for repair and recovery, you should pay particular attention to your protein intake, ensuring that you eat plenty of lean meats, fish and leafy green vegetables. For those who are concerned that their diet might not provide enough vitamins to support immune function, there is also the option of taking a multi-vitamin supplement.
After surgery, the amount of sugar in the blood can increase due to a state of insulin resistance and increased glucose production by the liver. In order to prevent worsening of this, sugar-dense food and drink should be avoided.
Following tummy tuck surgery, it is strongly recommended that alcohol is avoided. There are two main reasons for this: firstly, you may be receiving medication to manage pain after the surgery and alcohol can interfere with how the body processes this medicine. Secondly, it has been shown that alcohol consumption after surgery has been linked with an increased risk of infection and other adverse outcomes.
Reducing your sodium (salt) intake can help to reduce swelling and inflammation in the body, especially postoperatively. Instead of adding salt to meals, you can opt for low salt/sodium alternatives and flavour your meals with herbs and spices.
Although tummy tuck surgery can achieve impressive results and leave patients feeling transformed in terms of appearance and self-confidence, the surgery cannot change eating habits, activity levels or appetite. It is common for excess fat tissue to be removed along with excess skin during abdominoplasty, however, the remaining fat cells are still capable of increasing in size. Therefore, patients must make sustainable changes to their diet and exercise routine that they can take forward long after the recovery process is complete.
If you would like to find out more about tummy tuck surgery at The Harley Medical Group, you can visit our dedicated page here. You can also book a free, no-obligation consultation to explore the best option to achieve your desired results.