Effect of Sodium on Swelling Post-op?

I am purchasing a Nutribullet so I can ensure I have the proper nutrients during post-op recovery of tummy tuck. How will this impact swelling if I have no sodium until 6 weeks post-op?

Doctor Answers 5

LOW sodium not NO sodium before surgery

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.

Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 35 reviews


There is plenty of sodium in most foods. It is very hard to completely remove all sodium from a diet. Additional sodium is definately not a good idea, it will increase your swelling

Norman Bakshandeh, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Controlling post-op swelling

Eliminating sodium for your diet could put you at risk for problems other than swelling after surgery. Swelling after any injury, including surgery, is related to the inflammatory process necessary for healing. Eliminating the inflammatory process completely would result in poor healing. Most of the early swelling after surgery is related to the IV fluids you receive during the procedure, which contain a lot of salt, so drinking plenty of water after surgery will help to "flush" the salt out of your system. My recommendation is to have our patients follow a normal diet with an emphasis on fruits and vegetables (for vitamins and minerals) and consistant amounts of high quality protein. Fruit "smoothies" with extra protein are excellent options!

Douglas Leppink, MD
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Minimizing Sodium Intake Post-Op

Minimizing sodium intake following a tummy tuck will help with swelling, but trying to completely eliminate sodium for 6 weeks is going way to far to the other side.  I would enjoy low sodium foods and you should do just fine.

Sacha Obaid, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 135 reviews

Nutrition after surgery

It would be most unusual in this country to have any nutritional deficits that would indicate any benefits for a change in diet to enable normal wound healing. Taking in no sodium for six weeks is more likely to cause metabolic disturbance than it is to provide any benefit in recovery. Discuss your plan with your surgeon. All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

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.