Mommy Makeover Aftercare Diet Tips for a Vegan.

My question is what advice, if any would you give to a vegan that is different to that given to a meat eater? I do not eat meat but I will eat cheese ocassionally. I do not eat alot of processed foods, foods with gmo's etc. I try to eat as clean as possible. Is one protein source better than another? I have upped my protein intake by drinking brown rice protein shakes. Could I be lacking something by my vegan lifestyle? I am an avid exerciser in good health and at normal weight. 5"5 125lbs.

Doctor Answers 11

Vegan Diet Tips for Surgical Patients

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A Vegan diet should be no problem if it is balanced. By  a balanced diet  I mean it should include adequate protein (very important during the healing phase), complex carbohydrates and essential fats (but not a lot of omega 3 fats  a few weeks before and for a week after to prevent bruising and excessive bleeding with surgery) and essential vitamins and minerals. Soy protein, tofu, soy burgers, beans will take care of the protein requirement fine. I strongly recommend following the pre-surgical vitamin regimen we like our patients to follow.  We use the Vita Medica program which is started before surgery and continued afterwards. It emiminates things that can cause excessive bruising (like Vitamin E, Omega 3 FA, etc) and has B`12 (missing in some Vegan diets) along with Arnica Montanum and Bromelain to decrease swelling, pain and bruising. If you cannot locate these products through your surgeon, give my office a call.

Good Nutrition is Essential Foundation for Healing

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I respect your commitment to a healthy lifestyle, including avoiding processed foods, which is also kinder to our planet.

You are right to be concerned about the amount and quality of protein, as proteins are the building blocks of healing and immunity (resistance to infection.) Your body's ability to absorb and utilize the protein you ingest is an important factor.

Among vitamins/co-factors that may be missing from your diet is the very important B12 which is naturally found only in animal products (fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products). Vitamin B12 is generally not present in plant foods. Some nutritional yeast products also contain vitamin B12. Among processed foods, synthesized supplements and fortified breakfast cereals have high bio-availability for vegetarians/vegans. 

To enhance nutrition for healing, I recommend 80+grams/day starting at least a week before surgery and continuing a week post-op. I also supply vitamin preparations that are specially formulated for surgery patients, but a high potency multi-vit can do the trick.

This kind of regimen may represent a compromise of a strictly vegan diet or of avoiding processed foods, but are worth your consideration to optimize your body for healing well.


Tips for Vegan for Mommy Makeover

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Discuss this specifically with your plastic surgeon.

Make sure you increase protein intake and take a multivitamin supplement.

You may give consideration to seeing your primary care doctor a nutritional lab profile to make sure your lab work looks good and that you are not undernourished.

Best of luck.

Post surgery nutritional needs of a vegan.

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We are having more Vegan patients in the office.  Keys to healing include enough protein, and the necessary nutrients.  Find good sources of protein, (protein drinks, legumes, etc).  Also make sure that you are getting enough iron and B12.  Best to see you familiy practice doctor and get the proper pre-operative labwork.  Make sure you have all the buliding blocks needed for healing.

Post Surgery Nutrition Tips for Vegans

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A vegan diet can make it difficult to take in enough protein for optimal healing. It is also difficult to get enough vitamin B12. I would recommend a diet with plenty of soy and legumes. You should probably also take multivitamin and mineral supplements containing vitamin B12 for at least a month before and after surgery. Long-term B12 supplementation is probably a good idea for the vegan diet as it is very difficult to get enough through diet alone.

The Vegan Lifestyle and Your Mommy Makeover

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Hi there-

While your healthy lifestyle certainly lowers your risks of heart disease and stroke, during times of increased protein demand (like healing after surgery), the relatively low amounts of protein you ingest may significantly increase your risks of healing complications after your Mommy Makeover.

I recommend you supplement your regular diet with protein shakes (GNC sells lots of varieties- make sure it contains all essential amino acids) and multi-vitamins (again, any comprehensive multi-vitamin will do). 

This should keep your risks nice and low.

Vegan diet and cosmetic surgery

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I concur with your desire for protein supplementation.   If you are on a specific diet, I would recommend a review of your blood count (to make sure you are not anemic) and your electrolytes.  In addition, protein supplementation is important to improve your healing potential.     Depending on your overall health status, I may recommend an evaluation by an internal medicine specialist and possible a nutritionist as well.    Just like with any endeavor, including cosmetic surgery, preparation is key.

Dr. Basu

Mommy Makeover Recovery for Vegans

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Thank you for your question.  

Yes, we would want you to increase your protein intake prior to and after surgery to help with the recovery process.  There are many options to choose from.

Talk to your surgeon to see if he/she has any specific recommendations.

Best Wishes!

Advice for a vegan after surgery.

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Your healthy living likely has kept you in very good shape and you should have little problem with your surgery.  Strict vegetarians can be lacking in protein so adding some protein drinks with soy or whey protein can help with that in the post operative stages.  There are a wide variety available at health food stores. 

Vegan patients

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I have had 2 vegan patients who have had delayed wound healing after surgery.  Now, I recommend additional pre and post-op nutrition supplementation with vitamins and protein drinks.  

You may choose any protein drink you like the flavor of.  "Vitamin Shoppe" has a large selection, and are widely available.  Try to get 1 gram of protein per kg of body weight per day.


All the best,

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.