The Role of Nutrition in Tummy Tuck Recovery

Tummy tuck recovery is one of the longest and most extensive, and no matter how well you feel in the days following your procedure, you still need time to heal internally. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to hasten your recovery and get you back on your feet and back to normal. One of these methods is to change your diet. Your post-surgery diet has a significant impact on the ease and speed with which you recover from a tummy tuck.
A proper post-surgery diet will not only keep your weight under control, preserving the quality of your tummy tuck results, but it will also aid in your recovery. Tummy tuck surgery places strain on your body, and a nutritious diet will aid in the repair and restoration of your cells. Unfortunately, while a nutritious diet can help you, an unhealthy diet can prolong your recovery and interfere with the quality of your results. While vitamins and supplements can provide many of the nutrients you require, it is always preferable to get your nutrients from food. Maintaining your tummy tuck results will also be easier if you follow a healthy diet after surgery.

What Food You Should Eat?

On the night of your surgery, you will be restricted to clear liquids. Following your procedure, concentrate on broths, decaffeinated tea and coffee, and water. This will begin to stimulate your stomach and gradually return it to full function. You can then progress to more solid foods, gradually reintroducing items to ensure that your body can tolerate them. You will be able to build your diet around the nutrients you require to recover at this point.

Protein: Protein is an important component of your post-tummy tuck diet. Protein assists in the protection and strengthening of your immune system, allowing your body to fight infection and forcing your muscles and tissues to develop new cells. Protein is responsible for the synthesis of collagen, the production of antibodies, and the repair of damage. Tummy tuck patients should aim for 60 grams of protein per day. Protein-rich foods include poultry, fish, meat, nuts, yogurt, soy, dairy, and eggs.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps to repair damage and strengthen connective tissue in the skin and muscles. This vitamin is essential for wound healing because it fights infection, stimulates collagen production (which is required for tissue strength and flexibility), and aids in wound healing. Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, berries, tomatoes, leafy greens, kiwis, and Brussels sprouts are high in vitamin C.

Vitamin A: Vitamin A promotes collagen production, which helps to strengthen the healing incision while fighting infection. Vitamin A-rich foods include eggs, dairy, and cod liver oil.

Vitamin D: Vitamin D ensures that you absorb calcium and other nutrients from the food you eat, allowing you to maximize your potential. Vitamin D-rich foods include orange juice, cheese, fatty fish such as salmon or tuna, egg yolks, and almond milk.

Zinc: Zinc is required for the formation of new cells, which will aid in the recovery process after a tummy tuck. This nutrient is beneficial to the skin and mucosal membranes. Zinc-rich foods include shellfish, meat, seeds, nuts, legumes, eggs, dairy, and grains.

Bromelain: Bromelain is commonly used to reduce swelling and inflammation following surgery. While there is no definitive proof, there is also no risk in including bromelain in your diet. Pineapple contains the nutrient bromelain.

Water: Dehydration is common after tummy tuck surgery and can be severe. Drinking plenty of water not only protects you from the negative effects of dehydration but may also help reduce swelling and prevent constipation. Patients should drink as much water as they need to feel satisfied, but not too much. Drinking too much water can cause swelling and water retention. Most patients find that five to eight glasses of water per day is sufficient to keep their bodies hydrated.

Fiber: Another complication that patients experience after tummy tuck surgery is constipation. This uncomfortable situation puts unnecessary strain on the abdomen and, if severe enough, can lengthen recovery time. Fiber aids in constipation prevention by speeding digestion and keeping stool soft. Fruits, vegetables, and beans contain plant-based fiber.

What Food You Should Not Eat?

Foods That Cause Bloating: Bloating and gas are two things that can sabotage your recovery and make you feel uneasy. Foods high in salt, as well as carbonated beverages such as soda or sparkling water, cause unnecessary bloating. Constipation is common after surgery; it is critical to ensure that the foods you consume will reduce this risk rather than fuel it.

High-Sugar Foods: You also want to make sure that you stay away from many comfort foods that are high in sugar. These foods may sound and taste good initially, but they will do nothing to move your recovery along.

Alcohol: Alcohol should be avoided initially and moderated in the long run. Alcohol thins your blood, making it more difficult for your body to heal. Furthermore, alcohol may interact negatively with any pain medication you are taking. If you are still on medication, avoid any amount of alcohol because you do not know how your body will react to it.