How do supplements affect healing for tummy tuck & breast lift?

I am having a tummy tuck and breast lift next month, after 75 lbs of weight lost after having VSG last September. I take numerous supplements due to my VSG and read on this forum that some supplements make affect healing. Any suggestions for ones to avoid for better better healing and ones that may assist in healing.

Doctor Answers 7

Supplement for Healing from a Mommy Makeover

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I suggest to my patients beginning supplements such as  bromelain or arnica a week or two before their procedure(s). However, its best to consult with your board-certified Plastic Surgeon beforehand. She or he will make suggestions according to your procedure and medical records in addition to discussing your pre-op preparations. Also, such may be provided for you with your pre-op material and prescriptions in time for your recovery period. You will learn more about preparing at your pre-op appointment. 

Supplements for surgery

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Omega 3 fats (e.g. fish oil, EFA, flax seed oil, Krill oil), NSAID's (aspirin, ibuprofen, naprosyn), Vitamin E, "blood thinners" and a whole host of supplements and medicines can cause excessive bleeding and bruising and therefore increase your recovery time. When in doubt stay away from supplements unless they are designed for surgery. I offer to my patients specific supplements that speed healing, reduce swelling, bruising and in some cases minimize discomfort (for example Bromelain, Arnica Montanum, and Vitamins designed for surgery.

Bottom Line: Certain vitamins and minerals can speed healing others can cause problems and slow the process down or cause complications. If healing is going well I usually let my patients go back to their usual regimen of supplements

Check with your doctor as only your doctor would have access to your medical history and what would be best for you. We typically allow our patients to continue their supplements 10 days post op if their recovery is going well.


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Dear Bdcfdx,

Patients who have undergone significant weight loss can often be suffering some degree of malnourishment from restriction. However, if you are under the guidance of a nutritionist or just following a well-balanced, carefully planned diet with lots of complex carbohydrates in the form of vegetables, fruits and protein based food substances.

Supplements themselves may be required and generally if taken properly and under the supervision of a physician should not result in compromised wound healing or metabolic status.

I hope this information has been of some assistance and best of luck.

R. Stephen Mulholland, M.D.
Certified Plastic Surgeon
Yorkville, Toronto

Vitamins and supplements

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Congratulations on your weight loss! Each surgeon has her own protocol with regard to vitamins and supplements prior to surgery.  There are some that usually need to be avoided because they can cause bleeding issues.  They include Vitamin E, flaxseed oil, fish oil, and garlic, among others.  It is best to check with your surgeon for what is ok and what needs to be discontinued.

In healthy individual supplements do not aid in healing of elective aesthetic surgery.

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In spite of what you read supplements have no role in convalescence after mommy makeover in otherwise healthy patients. Improper use can actually cause postoperative problems.

How do supplements affect healing for tummy tuck & breast lift?

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Thank you for the question.
You'll find that every practice has a different routine when it comes to pre-operative appointments. Therefore the advice you receive online may not be relevant.
In our practice, during the preoperative visit ( typically done several weeks prior to surgery) patients are given a list of do's and don'ts that will help them get through the surgery and recovery safely. We review medical history and obtain any necessary preoperative workup necessary. This may include EKG and/or laboratory values depending on the patient's specific situation.

"Dos and don'ts" regarding the use of medications, herbs, alcohol, nicotine, foods etc. are reviewed in detail ((before and after surgery)

I hope this helps.

Supplements and wound healing

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Thank you for asking about your tummy tuck and breast lift.

I am so glad the VSG worked so well for you.
  • The supplements you are taking are to replace ones you no longer absorb as well.
  • Chances are you should not stop taking them during surgery.
  • Go over all your medicines with your surgeon to see what you should take, what you should stop.
  • Vitamin C may be helpful - it is necessary for wound healing.
  • Some people believe vitamin D is helpful also.
  • Above all - don't take anything not approved by your surgeon.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Hope you found this answer helpful. Best wishes

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.