Any recommendation on Vitamins, Supplements, Diet prior to Mommy Make Over (TT with Breast reduction) to help with healing?

I have lost over 100lbs through diet / exercise and finally booked my surgery for Jan. 2015. I am a smoker of 20+ years and know I need to quit now and will do so October 1st. I am committed to be quite for at least 3 months prior or I will reschedule. I would like to best prepare myself for the recovery in all ways possible so are there vitamins, supplements, or diet that may help recovery? Also, what are the best creams to help with scars? Anything else I can do now? Thanks for any advice.

Doctor Answers 16

Supplements for healing and recovery

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You are right - you need to quit smoking before surgery and ensure that you do not pick it up again during your post-operative recovery, as smoking can compromise your healing.

Check with your PS for any medications, vitamins and supplements to avoid before surgery, as some like fish or krill oil for instance, can promote bleeding during surgery and are best avoided during this time.  Also your PS may have preferences for supplements to be taken before and after surgery.

When patients ask me this question, I normally recommend normal daily doses of Vitamin C, zinc and L-lysine.    After surgery, it has been found that Vitamin C levels drop quite a lot.  Vitamin C is needed for the formation of new connective tissue between cells, required for wound healing.   Together with other amino acids, L-Lysine forms a necessary part of the basic structure of collagen which is required at the wound site.  Although amino acids can be manufactured by our own bodies, during times of stress - such as surgery - the body needs additional help and this means adding them through the diet.   Zinc is beneficial to the immune system, which can diminish if you have surgery.  Zinc supplements are commonly used to reduce the severity of colds and flu, and it has also been used to help wound healing.

For scar treatment, I advise my patients to use a silicone gel compression tape a few weeks after surgery and a quality, non -irritating moisturiser for the area.  There are silicone gel serums which are also available.  Again, check with your PS as to what protocol he or she will prefer for your scar treatment.

Good luck with your surgery.

Sydney Plastic Surgeon

Diet and Supplements Prior to Mommy Makeover Surgery

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I suggest to my patients beginning supplements such as  bromelain or arnica a week or two before their procedure(s). However, its best to consult with your board-certified Plastic Surgeon beforehand. She or he will make suggestions according to your procedure and medical records in addition to discussing your pre-op preparations. Also, such may be provided for you with your pre-op material and prescriptions in time for your recovery period. You will learn more about preparing at your pre-op appointment. 

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Supplements for surgery

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Omega 3 fats (e.g. fish oil, EFA, flax seed oil, Krill oil), NSAID's (aspirin, ibuprofen, naprosyn), Vitamin E, "blood thinners" and a whole host of supplements and medicines can cause excessive bleeding and bruising and therefore increase your recovery time. When in doubt stay away from supplements unless they are designed for surgery. I offer to my patients specific supplements that speed healing, reduce swelling, bruising and in some cases minimize discomfort (for example Bromelain, Arnica Montanum, and Vitamins designed for surgery.

Bottom Line: Certain vitamins and minerals can speed healing others can cause problems and slow the process down or cause complications. If healing is going well I usually let my patients go back to their usual regimen of supplements

Check with your doctor as only your doctor would have access to your medical history and what would be best for you. We typically allow our patients to continue their supplements 10 days post op if their recovery is going well.


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Supplements, diets and vitamins have not been shown help your recovery.  Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is the best way to prepare yourself.  There are no creams that are universally recommended for scars.  If your surgeon recommends any products, I would go with his or her recommendations.  You should definitely quit smoking as early as possible before surgery and stop smoking after surgery, hopefully for good.

Shim Ching, MD
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Preoperative nutrition

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 there are no specific supplements that have been shown to decrease postoperative complications. The most important factor in good healing is good balanced food intake with adequate protein. Preoperative nutrition labs should be performed in bariatric patients to determine whether or not there any deficiencies of iron, calcium or other essential minerals. If they are deficient than supplementation may be necessary prior to surgery. Many post-bariatric patients also suffer from anemia which must be corrected in order to maximize the potential for a good outcome. Good luck

Any recommendation on Vitamins, Supplements, Diet prior to Mommy Make Over (TT with Breast reduction) to help with healing?

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Congratulations on your weight loss; it seems like you are doing all the right things in preparation for surgery.

 There is no specific “recommended diet” for the pre or post-tummy tuck patient. A well-balanced diet with high fiber and a good protein source would obviously be helpful. Adding a protein shake ( to each meal) if necessary may also be helpful especially if your appetite is curtailed ( which often happens during the postoperative period). Frequent hydration is also important. Some other advice I give to patients prior to major surgery (with both physical and emotional recovery periods often underestimated by patients and their surgeons) may be helpful to you:

1. Make sure you are doing the procedure for the right reasons (for yourself)  and that you have realistic expectations.  Be aware that an improvement in the “problem area” may not translate to an overall improvement in your life   situation.  You are bound to be disappointed with results of the procedure if your motivation for doing the surgery is not internally driven.

2. Time your surgery carefully; generally, it is not a good idea to have surgery done during or immediately after a stressful period in life (for example divorce or death of a loved one). The additional stress of surgery will undoubtedly be  more challenging to deal with if a patient's emotional reserves our already exhausted. Remember, that an improvement in your physical appearance will not translate to an improvement in your life situation.

3. If possible speak to patients who have undergone similar procedures and query them about the toughest times of their recovery period. Any practical hints previous patients can provide may be very helpful.

4. Make sure you are aware of potential complications that may arise how to reach your surgeon if necessary.
5. Make sure you have a strong and patient support system (several people if possible) in place who have time/patience to take care of you. Arrange for professional nursing if any doubt exists regarding the availability and/or stamina  of your caretakers.

6. Be patient with the healing process, understanding that it will take several weeks to months to feel “normal” again. It may also take many months/year to see the end results of your surgery.

7. Be prepared to distract your mind with things of interest such as books, magazines, and movies.

8. Expect less of yourself; do not go back to work, school or chores too early and let others take care of you (for a change).

9. Pick your surgeon carefully (a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon) and trust in his/her advice. Keep in close communication with your surgeon and do not hesitate to communicate questions/concerns and the   emotional swings that you may experience.

10. Resume all medications that you were using preoperatively when cleared by your plastic surgeon and stop the use of narcotics and sedatives as soon as feasible after surgery.

11. Keep in mind the end results as you go through the tougher emotional times after your surgery.
I hope this, and the attached link (dedicated to mommy makeover surgery concerns) helps.

Supplimetns for Healing and Recovery

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Hello and thank you for your question. First of all, congratulations on your healthy lifestyle change! As you have learned through your weight loss experience, a healthy diet gives your body the fuel it needs. The same will be true of your surgical recovery. Protein intake will be important to aid in the healing process. Vitamins and supplements can have a place in recovery, but some can also lead to potential complications. Clarify with your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon which supplements they prefer you use or avoid. Likewise, she or he can instruct you in follow up wound care and scar healing. Smoking cessation is the most important part of a healthy recovery. Best wishes. 

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

Mommy Makeover Healing

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Congratulations on your weight loss and plans to quit smoking! I do believe that good vitamins help a patient heal faster. I have my patients take VitaMedica Surgery Program which includes top quality vitamins and arnica montana which helps reduce swelling and bruising. Once the incision has healed I have my patients use a silicone dressing to help flatten scars. Good luck!

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Mommy Make Over

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Congratulations on your 100lb weight loss!!  That is an amazing accomplishment!  Absolutely quit smoking now!  Smoking can interfere with the healing process.  Please ask your surgeon what supplement he/she would like for you to take or to avoid. Each surgeon has their own preoperative requirements so speaking with him now is a great idea!  Continue to eat healthy CLEAN foods.  As far as scar creams, your own physician should be able to recommend a product that he/she is comfortable with as there are so many on the market.  Best of Luck to you and I wish you continued success with your new healthy lifestyle.

Pre and Post Mommy Makeover Care

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Each surgeon has different preoperative guidelines although there is almost universal benefits of giving up smoking prior to surgery. Your surgeons understands the scope of the surgery and the specifics about you so he or she are in the best position in regards to what you should do postoperatively.  

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 55 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.