I'm 3 Weeks Post Op from my Mommy Makeover, Why Do I Feel So Hungry All of the Time?

My post op nurse said its because my body is burning a lot of calories will healing, is this true?

Doctor Answers 9

Healing Requires Good Nutrition

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After surgery: the body is in a hyper-metabolic state.

  • Just like exercise generates a demand for calories/nutrition the body is working harder than usual after surgery to heal.
    • I usually recommend at least 80 grams of protein/day in the perioperative time
      • protein is the building block of healing and immunity/resistance to infection
      • your body's protein demands are greatly increased to heal after surgery
    • I also recommend high-potency vitamin supplements to aid in healing
      • Healing especially requires vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and Zinc
        • Best to delay E until post-op as it can contribute to more bruising
  • This extra work also leads to feeling fatigued. Listen to your body: get the rest you need.
  • When your body is working harder, it also needs good hydration!

Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Hunger 3 weeks after a mommy makeover

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After a mommy makeover, your body requires an increased amount of calories for healing and this may be a contributing factor for you. Without having provided any information about your weight, height, procedures, etc. this is a little conjecture. Patients do respond differently however even though metabolic requirements are increased.

You need to make sure that you are eating high quality foods and not gorging. Dieting during the healing phase is not recommended. By the same token, you need to make sure that you are not putting on unnecessary weight. Consider also discussing this situation with your doctor.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Appetite Increase After a Mommy Makeover

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It may be due to your body healing. Healing  varies per person will continue for 2-3 months for the early period. This includes some swelling, bruising, malposition, color differences. Sensation in the breasts may also be abnormal and scars will be evolve. Tingling, burning or shooting pains in the breasts will disappear with time and should not alarm you. It is simply a result of the regeneration of your sensory nerves. If these sensations cause pain, repeated, local self-massage per your surgeon's permission may help.

Healing after a  #tummytuck will require time. Some patients are out of bed and walking the night of surgery and every hour while awake. I allow my patients to return to work at one to two weeks with 14 days preferred.  However, no lifting or straining.  At three weeks, increased level of activity and full with no restrictions, at 6 weeks. #MummyTummy is a term given to modified tummy tucks which can use liposuction and skin tightening with radiofrequency such Vanquish, Vela3, thermage, thermiRF and others.  The actual fat contouring can be done non-surgically as well with #UltraShape or Cool-Sculpting.
As I advise my patients, if your work keeps you sedentary, you may return whenever you feel up to it. If your work is strenuous, wait until your work activity does not cause any superficial pain. 
Some employers will modify a person’s job duties so they can back sooner, but without physical activity. Our office can provide our patients with a note stating they are not to engage in strenuous activity for a specified period of time. The note will not disclose what procedure they have underwent. Therefore, you may have to request a similar note from your surgeon if you are not independently employed. I recommend avoiding heavy lifting and strenuous #activity for six weeks following your surgery. With that said, it may help you plan your return to work accordingly.

As for heavy lifting and other #strenuous #activities, it should be avoided for until you have clearance from your surgeon. You may, however, do normal activities at any time if they cause no pain or #discomfort. Let your body tell you what you can or cannot do. Aerobic exercise will raise your blood pressure, which could cause late bleeding and harm your result. Once you begin exercising again, start gently and let your body tell you what it can tolerate. Don’t rush!!  If you have concerns about your healing, or pain that you question to be unusual, it is important to call your plastic surgeon to discuss these further asked to be examined.

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

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Healthy balanced diet contributes to successful wound healing.

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It’s not unusual for Mommy Makeover patients to note significant hunger in the immediate post-operative period.In most cases, this is related to the wound healing process.
It’s essential that patients have good nutrition so wounds can heal properly.This means that their diet should have adequate calories, protein, vitamins and trace elements. In the post-operative period, these requirements increase significantly over the baseline needs of the patient.
Your hunger is your body, letting you know that it needs these building blocks so wound healing can continue.It’s therefore, important to have a healthy balanced diet in the post-operative period.

Nutrition and healing after mommy make-over surgery

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Good postoperative nutrition is important with any surgical procedure in order for the body to have the necessary nutrients to heal from surgery. Mommy make-over surgery, which often involves extensive body contouring, is no different. I encourage my patients to eat a well balanced diet high in nutritional content (avoid fast foods and overly processed foods) so that wound healing can be optimized. Having liposuction and tummy tuck surgery is not a free pass to eat anything and everything postoperatively. Maintaining a stable weight post operatively will help preserve and maintain the results of your mommy make-over for a long period.

Antonio Gayoso, MD
Saint Petersburg Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Eat well and exercise

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Just the messenger ...but eat well, exercise, and address any eating disorder you may have or may not have had prior to surgery ...good luck  Doc

Alan Weiss, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Eating After Mommy Makeover

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Thank you for your question.

Each patient is different with how they recover and how hungry they are during the recovery process.  If you are hungry, eat but eat healthy things... fruits, vegetables, protein.  You have now been given a new "starting point" and it is your job to stay healthy and keep the mommy makeover results you have.

Good Luck!

I'm 3 Weeks Post Op from my Mommy Makeover, Why Do I Feel So Hungry All of the Time?

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Although you are using energy stores to heal your wounds, usually a normal diet will provide for that. Usually the inactivity from a Mommy Makeover leads to less of an appetite. Hard to say why you are hungry all the time

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Watch Your Calories After a Mommy Makeover

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If you feel hungry it is ok to eat but eat well.  Celery, brussel sprouts, carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, etc.  Count every calorie.  If you runaway and over eat you will lose the nice effects of your surgery.   After a mommy makeover I suppose you body does burn a few extra calories healing, but count you calories and weigh yourself stark naked every morning the minute you get up for the day.  For a mommy makeover to be successful you must not gain weight.   For success you must show the weight you surgeon removed during surgery.  If you started at 150 and the surgeon removed 6 lbs you are now 144.   In 2 months you must get there.   You must exercise and not let your body fat % increase.  If more of you becomes fat % because of lack of exercise, you will look fat.   The high school quarterback at 18 is 10% fat and 190 lbs.  20 years later at the reunion he looks FAT.   WHY?    Because even though his weight is still 190 he is 28 % fat and look fat.   So for your mommy makeover to be successful you must reflect on the scale that which was removed,  you must  stay at that weight, and you must not let body fat % increase.    This is difficult because as we age we tend to get fat and slow down so the fat % increases.   It is a choice.  75% of people are fat with high fat %.   25 % are fine life long.  Only caloric restriction has been proven to lengthen life and enhance life quality.  There is no other proven thing we can do to live longer than caloric restriction.   Be tough.  Control you calorie and count them.  Weigh yourself.  Remember this is a mental decision.  If you want to be successful you will be.  But if you choose not to be successful ,as many do, you will fail.   I will be rooting for you to be in the 25% successful group.   Dr George Commons

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.