Living in Colorado, many of our patients already have an active lifestyle and are conscious of making healthy decisions. We encourage our patients to be active and participate in exercise or activities they enjoy. One of my hobbies outside of the office is cycling – and I’ll often bike to work as well – but being active is not just a hobby for us.
Our integrated approach to patient care fully supports these goals of overall health and fitness by looking at the full picture and working with you to design a comprehensive plan to optimize and prepare your body for surgery and recovery. We address a number of factors, including nutrition, supplementation, BMI (Body Mass Index), and activity level to design an individual plan that will best prepare your body for surgery and for being as strong as possible during your recovery.
Developing an Individual Plan
Your consultation is the first step to plan and prepare for your surgery and recovery. Together we will review your options, go over specific information about your procedure and discuss any questions or concerns you may have. You will receive a customized recommendation to best achieve your goals complete with a detailed quote and surgical plan.
Many plastic surgery procedures place a large demand on your body’s healing, so it is important to address overall health and nutrition as part of your comprehensive plan.
Important Considerations When Planning For Surgery
Reaching Your Goal Weight
Ideally, I recommend being stable at your goal weight for a month before a significant body contouring surgery (such as a Brazilian Butt Lift, Tummy Tuck, Body Lift or Mommy Makeover.)
Maintaining a stable weight is important because the body cannot “go two directions at the same time” — meaning that when the body is burning up its own fat stores during weight loss, physiologically it cannot optimally heal its tissues. Especially in the first 6 weeks after surgery, the body is going through intense healing.
Vitamin & Protein Supplementation
This intense healing period has the potential to cause a deficiency of protein or vitamins that will not allow your body to heal optimally. I recommend vitamin and protein supplementation prior to surgery to “top off” your body’s stores so that you are best prepared for the healing after surgery.
To visualize this, think of a tank of gas in your car. If the tank has ¼ gas left and you floor the gas pedal and keep it down, the remaining gas will quickly be gone. If the tank is full and you floor the gas pedal, you will be able to run the car longer, even if you keep your foot on the accelerator for an extended period of time. The healing period for your body is like flooring the gas pedal in your car, as your body uses its “fuel” at an accelerated rate to help with recovery. Filling your “tank” with an optimal level of nutrition and supplementation gives your body the fuel it needs to heal.
For major body sculpting and body contouring cases or for combined procedures, I recommend:
- Checking Labs — To assess for anemia and it’s causes, protein levels, and other labs depending on the specific patient and procedure
- Increasing Protein Intake — 2/3 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day (I will vary this depending on the extent of the procedure, but generally 100-150 grams of protein per day). For most patients, this means adding new lean protein sources and protein shakes to their diet.
- Supplementing Vitamin Intake — 1-2 multivitamins per day, B12, Iron, Vitamin D (and others as indicated by labs in the low or low-normal range)
- Avoiding medications and supplements that may increase bruising and bleeding risk.
Preoperative supplementation is an important part of preparing your body for surgery and optimal healing during your recovery.
Post Op Recovery
After surgery, you need to plan for your recovery and listen to your body as it heals. We will provide instructions specific to your procedure and give you recommendations for activity level and time off work.
A common timeline after a body contouring procedure includes:
- Week 1: Increase walking time each day and wear compression garments as instructed.
- Peri-operative Light Touch Therapy — I have found massage to be very helpful in speeding recovery and results using light-touch lymphatic drainage starting as early as post-op day 1 and medium-touch and deeper tissue massage later on. I have no doubt that expert post-operative massage decreases swelling, and most patients are able to use a Spanx type garment or discontinue garment use after a 2-3 weeks.
- Post-Op Appointments — Attending these appointments is vital to your recovery so we can answer any questions or address concerns, as well as assess your healing and make recommendations for activity level and garmet wear.
- Work — Depending on the extent of the procedure and job duties, many patients will go back at 7-10 days or possibly do some light work from home a bit earlier.
- Activity — By weeks 2-3, most patients are able to significantly increase walking and perhaps start light aerobic activity such as an elliptical machine, returning at a graduated rate to full activity after 4-6 weeks, as your body allows.
It is also important to understand that everyone is different and that you will experience “ups and downs” after surgery before you have fully recovered. Most patients say they have their energy fully back by about 6 weeks after a body sculpting procedure.
We know that our patients have unique needs, goals, and concerns. Our approach is never “one-size-fits-all” because only a fully customized plan will give you the results you desire. By looking at the complete picture, we can combine your aesthetic goals with overall health and nutrition and support a healthy and active lifestyle for our patients. Contact us to learn about your options.