Pre-op TT: Should I be Taking any Supplements?

I'm having my tummy tuck surgery Feb. 21st I'm trying to see if there's anything I should be taking now as far as supplements vitamins etc to help me heal better or even just to be prepared for surgery????

Doctor Answers 8

Pre-op TT: Should I be Taking any Supplements?

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In my practice, assuming a patient is on a balanced/healthy diet, I do not recommend additional supplements. Postoperatively, careful (additional) attention to hydration and possibly protein supplementation may be helpful. Your plastic surgeon may have additional thoughts;  best to run this question by him/her. Best wishes with your upcoming procedure.

Supplements for surgery

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The simplest thing is to eat a well rounded diet with protein and vegatables.  In our office we have a list of vitamins, (vitamin E), and herbal supplements, (St. John's Wart, Fish Oil, etc.) that might cause bleeding. Much like ibuprofen or aspirin, they are to be avoided before, and for a time after surgery. Certain herbal or over the counter supplements can also interfere with anesthesia. Please contact your board certified plastic surgeon, and ask what their routine is. Please make sure you ask any questions that you may have.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Multivitamins to help you heal

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A multivitamin can help (as long as it doesn't have extra vitamin E), but more importantly, you should eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. This will provide good nourishment while you recover.


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Getting ready for your TT is very important. IF you are healthy and also have a balanced diet is not necessary to take any supplements or vitamins. With that said, should you choose to take anything be sure to notify your surgeon of it. There are studies that suggest an increase of bleeding in patients who take large doses of Vitamin E or even use vitamin E for a very long time. If you are planning to have a liposuction along with the TT a small amount of blood loss could be anticipated so having supplements is a smart idea for a few weeks prior the procedure. If my patients have hemoglobin levels at the lower end of normal I suggest them to take Iron, Vitamin B and folic acid for a few weeks preop.

Kelvin Eusebio, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Supplement use before surgery: look for the science

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It is well documented that many types of supplements can actually increase the risk of complications from surgery and anesthesia. As far as vitamins, protein supplements and the like, ask to see data from prospective clinical trials with objectively measured factors documenting improved results. You will find there is almost nothing meeting these criteria for healthy patients so it seems more like marketing hype to me. I would place my trust in a surgeon who bases his recommendations on clinically proven science.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Tummy tuck and Supplements

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You will find each surgeon has their own opinion on this, it is best to see what your surgeon recommends for you. For my patients, I have noticed a marked advantage when they take high quality vitamins before and after surgery. I have found VitaMedica's Surgery Program to reduce inflammation and speed recovery. I have them take it two weeks before and two weeks after surgery. Good luck.

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

What to take but also what NOT to take

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As suggested, most patients with healthy balanced diet seem to do fine from a wound healing perspective without supplementation. I tend to be much more suspicious of patients taking megadoses of vitamin A or E. There is data that megadoses can cause bleeding so, while a multivitamin is fine, overdosing may be counterproductive. I also tell patients to discontinue herbs and other products they buy from health food stores. Aspirin comes up weekly but since it binds irreversibly to platelets, it needs to be stopped 120 days in advance to have much effect.

Robert Frank, MD
Munster Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Pre-op TT: Should I be Taking any Supplements?

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I have a keen interest in nutrition and its effect on the healing of the body and health of skin, hair and nails. I recommend my patients take a single-source nutrient dense supplement that has 46 antioxidants, 36 antiinflammatories, all amino acids including the 8 essential that the body cannot make, many vitamins and minerals that is enzymatically active and bioavailable (gets readily absorbed in the small intestine and doesn't pass through like most vitamin pills). It also has chlorophyll to help detoxify the liver of the anesthetics used during the surgery.

I give all of my cosmetic patients an 8 day supply after surgery, but highly encourage them to start before surgery to help nourish the body before the big event. 

I would be happy to share more information and my personal story as this product saved my career by curing the psoriatic arthritis that was crippling my hands and interfering with surgeries.  You may contact me through my web page. Good luck with your tummy tuck.

Brian J. Lee, MD
Fort Wayne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 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.