Elective plastic surgery procedures, such as tummy tucks (abdominoplasty), extensive liposuction, breast reductions, and full facelifts, place great stress on the body in an effort to heal the extensively traumatized tissues. Such operations are prone to ‘wound complications’ such as small open areas and delayed healing as the body is stressed to meet the nutritional needs of the recovering tissues. Many patients are not optimally prepared from a nutritional standpoint for such procedures and may be more prone to such postoperative problems. Telling patients to ‘eat right’ is just not enough.
I like to think of preparing for surgery as an athletic event. Being at a good weight, if possible, in reasonable physical shape, and in good nutritional balance will help improve the surgical outcome, lessen the risks of certain complications, and have a faster physical recovery. Any edge that a patient can gain is fair game when it comes to your own surgical experience. For this reason, I advise my ‘big surgery’ patients to begin nutritional supplements 3 weeks before surgery including high doses of Vitamin C (2 grams per day) and Maxitropin supplements.
Maxitropin is targeted nutrition therapy that contains a patented blend of amino acids that function as ‘secretagogues', which are designed to stimulate growth hormone release and support wound healing through accelerated collagen and protein synthesis. Such targeted nutrition therapy can help improve surgical outcomes by promoting the building blocks for the elements favorable to wound healing. One packet (two scoops per day) provides the following:
Glutamine 6g. : Its most important function is to strengthen the immune system and prevent muscle loss.
Arginine 1g. : Helps build muscle, enhances fat metabolism and mobility and fights off infection.
Lysine 1g. :The human body cannot produce it on its own, and it is critical for the growth and production of hormones, enzymes and antibodies.
Glycine 1g. : Essential for the formation of DNA, collagen, phospholipids and the release of energy.
Ornithine 1g. : Reduces fat and increases muscle mass, stimulates the immune system and enhances wound healing.
Suggested Use: Dissolve 2 scoops in your favorite juice or beverage 1-2 times daily on an empty stomach for optimal absorption. (half hour before a meal or 1-2 hours after a meal)
Nutritional intervention that increases collagen and protein synthesis, supports immune function, and rebuilds lean body mass is a fundamental part of promoting wound healing. This simple and inexpensive nutritional supplement is one step in assuring the best surgical outcome as possible.
Dr Barry Eppley is a board-certified plastic surgeon in private practice in Indianapolis, Indiana at Clarian Health Systems. (http://www.eppleyplasticsurgery.com ) He writes a daily blog on plastic surgery, spa therapies, and medical skin care at http://www.exploreplasticsurgery.com