What can I take before a tummy tuck and what should I not take?

What vitamins or herbal supplements can I take before surgery to help healing and what should I stop avoid?

Doctor Answers 12

Tummy tuck and medications

Dear KatieSousa,

Thank you for your clinical post and a common question asked by patients. Tummy tuck surgery requires a healthy patient with a well balanced diet to heal properly. In general, patients with well balanced diets do not need vitamin supplements in order to heal properly, but should avoid certain food substances such as Aspirin, Motrin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and even some health foods such as ginger, Ginkgo and garlic. Substances which increase bruising and bleeding should be avoided and there is an extensive list of supplements and food substances to avoid that is dispensed by most surgeons several weeks prior to surgery.

Healthy diets with well balanced food groups generally heal well after tummy tuck surgery and the healing process can be modified by laser treatments on the scar, injectable treatments for any raised area of scar management and silicone gel sheeting.

I hope this information has been of some assistance and best of luck.

For more information, please review the link below.

R. Stephen Mulholland, M.D.
Certified Plastic Surgeon
Yorkville, Toronto

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

What to take before Plastic Surgery

Generally we want our patients to eat healthy, but to avoid anything that will thin the blood to cause increase bleeding or oozing during and after surgery.  Two weeks before the surgery, my patients are instructed to follow a strict regimen to avoid aspirin, motrin, ibuprofen, aleve and any other medications that will cause increase risk of bleeding.  In addition, I give may patients a list of various supplements and foods they should not ingest as well.  Fish oil, vitamin E, herbal supplements and herbal teas, antioxidants, and foods like tomatoes, berries, certain fruits all will potentially cause more bleeding and bruising with surgery.

Samuel Shatkin, Jr., MD
Buffalo Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Medication Do's and Don'ts

We provide a very detailed list of medications to avoid or take prior to surgery.   Basically we recommend avoiding any medication that causes bleeding or bruising.  Also, we conservatively do not recommend use of any supplements or herbals that are not fully studied. All the best.

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Supplements and abdominoplasty / tummy tuck

Thank you for bringing up a very important question. More and more, people are taking different types of supplements as a part of their daily routine. It is very important to acknowledge that many of these products, though natural, have a very strong effect on the body. Supplements may cause bleeding, problems with anesthesia, etc. and must be considered in the pre-and postoperative period.  I recommend that my patients generally stop most supplements two – four weeks before surgery. I carefully go over the entire list of products if they're taking to ensure that they are safe for surgery. Things that I will allow patients to continue taking before surgery include a multivitamin, Arnica/bromelin, But not much else. It is critical to avoid things like vitamin E, fish oil, anti-inflammatories and many other supplements and medications.

It is critical that you speak with your plastic surgeon to discuss what their recommendations are. Below, I have attached a link to an articleI wrote on the use of herbal supplements in cosmetic surgery and the effects these products may have on the body during and after surgery.

I wish you the best.

Dr. Gabbay

Joubin Gabbay, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

What to take and what to avoid before a tummy tuck

Your surgeon will most likely advise you on this. I give my patients a booklet full of information for their pre operative and post operative instructions. You will probably find out that it is advised that you take a good quality multi-vitamin, but check to make sure it does not have vitamin E as it is a blood thinner, and all blood thinners should be avoided 2 weeks before and two weeks after surgery. Good luck!

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

What can I take before a tummy tuck and what should I not take?

Thank you for the question. Your plastic surgeon will likely provide you with a full list of "do's and don'ts"; this is often done during the preoperative visit. Best wishes.

Tummy tuck

I appreciate your question.
I have a list that I review with my patients
Please speak to your doctor about this

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.
Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery.

best of luck!

Dr Schwartz

What can I take and what should I avoid?

Vitamins and herbal supplements (less so than vitamins) will likely be more helpful in the postoperative period than preoperatively.  A multivitamin that includes iron will be helpful preoperatively, but there are many herbal supplements that can increase the risk of bleeding during and immediately after surgery, so I generally have my patients avoid most herbal supplements for at least a week prior to surgery.  Your plastic surgeon may even have a specific list of herbal supplements he or she wishes you to avoid.  Best of luck with your surgery!

Jeffrey A. Sweat, MD
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Meds before tummy tuck

This is a very important question as you do not want to take any meds that can increase your chances of excessive bleeding. This would include herbal meds, aspirin, ibuprofen and certain vitamin supplements. It is best that you discuss this with your surgeon prior to surgery.

Mark Deutsch, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

What can I take before a tummy tuck

Thank you for the question. I ask my patients to eat healthy and increase their intake of vitamin C. It is also important that if they smoke, stop smoking at least 1 month prior to their operation. Avoid herbal supplements, vitamin E, aspirin and NSAID type products at least 2 weeks prior to surgery. Best of luck.

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.