Feeding patients soon after a tummy tuck procedure could enable them to leave hospital more quickly, experts have claimed.
Although doctors have tended to withhold food after tummy tuck surgery to reduce nausea and vomiting, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (Asaps) has pointed out that there is no literature to support this, and that the practice means that patients have to stay in hospital for longer to receive fluids via a drip.
Researchers looked at the medical records of 22 patients, half of whom did not receive food after surgery and half of whom were given a regular diet straightaway.
They found no difference in post-operative nausea and vomiting between the two groups.
Dr Alan Matarasso, a cosmetic surgery expert in New York and lead author of the study, revealed: "This study demonstrates that early feeding of tummy tuck patients may prevent the need for postoperative hospital admission for intravenous hydration - at least in those patients who can maintain adequate hydration with oral intake alone - and allow for faster hospital discharge."
He concluded that routine admission to prevent dehydration after tummy tuck surgery "may not be necessary" and said that enabling patients to go home sooner would improve their comfort and save on costs.