"Protein Shakes Are Especially Good for Optimal Incision Healing"- Is This Correct? How Much Protein Post-TT?

"Protein shakes are especially good for optimal incision healing." this is a DIRECT Quote from a doc here on RS. So can you tell us how much protein is optimal after a TT? I am fairly health concious. Make 99.9 % of our meals at home.VERY little "white" foods. We eat things like pinto,kidney,and black beans(dried not canned)and a cup of brown rice. Bass (we caught). or tuna & spinich. Almond butter, dried apricots and almonds for snacks.Bananas& blueberries on cherrios for BF. yogurt for desert

Doctor Answers 8

Protein Shakes after Tummy Tuck

Thank you for the question.

It sounds like you have a very healthy diet at this point. Protein shakes may be helpful as a supplement to your already healthy diet after tummy tuck surgery. One way to do this may be to add two protein shakes per day to your diet after surgery.

You should be aware however that many patients do just fine without adding protein to an otherwise healthy diet after surgery.

I hope this helps.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Optimal Incision Healing

While some surgeons believe in the value of a protein shake, most including myself would recommend sensible and balanced eating habits.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Do I Need a Protein Shake after a Tummy Tuck

The short answer is NO.

An aver age person needs the following amount of protein:

Adult men need about 56 grams a day.
Adult women need about 46 grams a day.

For serious athletes, this works out to be between 1.2 and 1.7 g/kg (0.5 - 0.8 grams per pound) of protein per a day. For average people, the intake is less.

Unless you have a digestive/malabsorbtion problem, eat a low protein or non-meat diet, or had bariatric surgery, it is very unlikely that you need any protein supplementation. In fact, there no studies that show a benefit in normal health patients.

Best recommendation is to save your money and discuss with a Board Certified plastic surgeon who does not sell these products.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Protein shakes for incisional healing

I am shaking my head. What is good for incisional healing is a balanced, nutritious diet. Given what you have described as healthy eating habits (good for you!), there is no need for you to drink protein shakes. You should do fine either way.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Optimal healing after surgery

While they won't hurt, I do not believe that protein shakes by themselves will help with optimal healing.  A balanced diet is all you need unless you are aware of a specific dietary deficiency you may have. Your diet sounds just fine for healing.

Francisco Canales, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Protein shake is not necessary with a healthy diet

As long as you maintain a healthy diet and eat about 0.5 to 1.0 grams of protein per pound body weight per day, you do not need to add a protein shake to your diet. If you eat poorly or are on the go all the time, then a protein supplement can help as a replacement.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 182 reviews

Protein shakes for healing.

If you are healthy and have a healthy diet with enough protein (sounds like you do), extra protein will not speed your healing.  If you are protein depleted (some vegans or gastric bypass patients are), you should get your level up to normal before having surgery.  This is super important. 

I check protein levels on my massive weight loss patients and patients who have a wacko diet that sounds low in protein to me.  I once saw a patient who was as white as a sheet from anemia from her vegan diet.  Her protein was also low.  Boy, did she feel better after getting the nutrients she needed!   Steak, anyone? 

 It kinda sounds to me like your doctor is pushing supplements.  Or maybe he/she has info that I don't.  I'd love to see a double blind controlled study to support his/her recommendations!

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Protein Myths

Congrats on your healthy food choices.  I often work on patients who have had weight loss surgery, and they may suffer from various forms of nutritional depletion (anemia, Vitamin D deficiency, iron deficiency).  They may are at risk for healing issues after large surgeries, and are therefore ideal candidates for protein supplementation.

In healthy patients, addtional protein is unlikely to have a major beneficial effect.  A potential problem is patients who focus on getting that 100g of protein and then fail to get adequte intake of fats and carbs.  These are necessary to fuel the healing process. 

My recommendation is a balanced diet, and if you care to increase your protein leveles (while also preventing constipation after surgery) add a bit more kale or legumes to your diet.

John LoMonaco, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 270 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.