Low Carb Dieting Before and After a Tummy Tuck Recommended?

I am a low carb dieter and I know I don't swell or retain as much water when I am following a low carb diet (Any other time my weight fluctuates alot) Per foods I'm eating sodium intake etc So I think it makes sense and make actually be helpfull to stick with my low carb diet before and after surgery. Could this possibly help keep me from swelling ? or should I switch my eating habits now so my body can get adjusted to a new type of diet?

Doctor Answers 5

Diet and Surgery

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A “low carb” diet is what everyone should be on. Most people eat about 70-90% of their calories as carbohydrates. By changing this to more closely resemble the ideal of only 40% of calories as carbs with protein and fat each making up 30%, you can maintain your weight where it should be. If you are going to modify your diet, you should reduce the sodium if possible by adding no salt and reading labels of anything bought already prepared. Sodium causes water retention and this could cause some postoperative swelling. The rest is just the result of the surgery and there is nothing you can do to reduce it. Continue your good eating habits and good luck with your surgery.


Highlands Plastic Surgeon

Low carb and surgery

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Have a balanced diet before surgery. Don't short yourself on proper vitamins and minerals because you will increase complications. Reducing salt is a good thing as it prevents water absorbtion. Carbs is required for energy otherwise you can break down muscle. Surgery is stress on the body so it will look for sources of energy and if you do not have carbs stored in your liver then muscle breakdown will occur.

Change Diet Before Tummy Tuck Surgery?

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Thank you for the question.

I do not think that a “low carb diet” will necessarily keep you from swelling after tummy tuck surgery. Much of the swelling you will experience after the surgery is related to surgical “trauma”, intravenous fluids you will receive, and fluid shifts your body will experience. I would suggest a well-balanced diet with adequate hydration before and after surgery.  After surgery, you may find that your appetite is decreased;  protein supplements may be helpful as well.

Best wishes.

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Low Carb Dieting Before and After a Tummy Tuck

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You can maintain your current diet before and after surgery. However, the surgery may still cause swelling as much of the swelling is due to surgical trauma and the injection of fluids during the procedure.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Dieting before Tummy Tuck

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The best time to have a Tummy Tuck is when you reach a stable state financially, emotionally and physiologically; when you have completed your family, can afford it, and have a stable, non-fluctuating weight for several months. While a high protein / low carb diet is usually healthy, I would not recommend any new diets just before having a Tummy Tuck. "Test drive'" the diet for a few months and make sure you tolerate it well before having your Tummy Tuck.

Peter A Aldea, MD
Memphis, TN

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.