How long should I be on a low sodium/high protein diet for, to optimize facelift recovery?

I understand that a low sodium diet will help reduce the normal swelling post facelift... I have seen 1500mg as a guideline but is it helpful to get even lower (say 1000mg or 1200mg) if possible, or does that give no real added benefit as compared to 1500mg? How long should this regimen be followed? And as to increased protein intake, how long is that recommended for optimum and speediest healing?

Doctor Answers 8

Facelift Diet and other Recovery tips

A low sodium diet, less than 1500 mg/day is fine - and making it even lower will not make a significant difference. I would otherwise eat a balanced diet which includes a protein source but doesn't have to maximize it. In fact not eating a balanced diet, for example high protein and low fat and low carbohydrate diet can cause metabolic imbalance (ketosis) which may have a negative impact.

See the below links on how to prepare for and the post op instructions we give our patients for a fast recovery

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

How long should I be on a low sodium/high protein diet for, to optimize facelift recovery?

The best way to recover from a facelift with regards to nutrition is to consume a well balanced diet, which is low in sodium.

As a general rule, we have found that when patients limit their sodium intake to less than 1500 milligrams a day, the swelling resolves much more quickly.  Ideally, patients should continue the low sodium policy indefinitely, for overall long term health, but for the first 3-4 weeks after surgery at a minimum.  The amount of protein should follow the RDA requirement (about 50 grams for women and 60 grams for men), with perhaps a 10% increase.

I hope this helps

Timothy R. Miller, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Balanced diet for Facelift Recovery

A low sodium well balanced diet after surgery will be helpful to promote good healing. During my patients preoperative appointment my patient coordinator will review with patients a eating plan to promote healing. There are certain things to consider in your postoperative diet. You want foods that are high in healing properties and vitamins, foods that are not spicy or irritating to your stomach, foods that promote bowel movements since medications may make you constipated and low sodium foods for reducing swelling. In general if you walk around the outskirts of the grocery store and not in any aisle you will find the fresh foods with no preservatives and less sodium. Speak with your surgeons patient coordinator and I am sure they will be happy to provide a list of foods to help you in your recovery. Wishing you a healthy, happy and speedy recovery! Best regards, Michael V. Elam, M.D.

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 210 reviews

Balanced diet for proper facelift recovery

A balanced diet, rather than a fad diet is best for optimal recovery after any type of surgery. Swelling after surgery will occur regardless of the amount of sodium that is consumed prior to surgery. In addition, proper healing requires more than a high protein diet. Thank you for sharing your question. Best wishes.

Gregory Park, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 164 reviews

How long should I be on a low sodium/high protein diet for, to optimize facelift recovery?

Anything you can do to stay healthy, is going to help you in the healing process. Low sodium/high protein is a very smart way to promote healing.  Also, taking a good multi vitamin is recommended after surgery.  Best wishes!

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Best healing regimen

As long as your health is good and your diet, there is no need to change your diet. High sodium does cause more edema but that type of edema/swelling is different than that caused by surgery like a facelift.

Edward J. Domanskis, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Best diet for healing

We should all eat less sodium but there is no need to adhere to a special diet for more than a few weeks. The idea is to control swelling. As for protein, again we should eat a balanced diet. Americans get enough nutrition for good healing in most cases - again to increase protein temporarily for a few weeks is fine.

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

There are no specific recommendations for a low-salt diet before or after a facelift.

A low-salt diet is generally recommended by plastic surgeons for facelift patients after the operation. This may decrease of swelling. I doubt it has any long-term effects however.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 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.