Healthy Healing: Nutrition for Pre and Post Surgery

Healthy Healing: Nutrition for Pre and Post Surgery

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Good nutrition is vital in fuelling normal functioning of our anatomy, including the respiration of the lungs and the beating of the heart. Nutrient needs are changed when additional stress is put on the body, including exercise, growth spurts, sickness, injuries and pregnancy/lactation.

Surgery is extremely stressful on the body as the incisions are created and the body starts working to heal its wounds. Proper pre-operative nutrition will help the immune system fight infection and ward off and treat excess blood loss.

Surgical incisions are clean, which already allows your body to have a healing advantage. That’s why most cosmetic procedures generally have a low level of complications — when administrated by an experienced plastic surgeon like Dr Peter Laniewski from Sydney. Besides your plastic surgeon’s competence, one of the most determining factors in dealing with the surgical trauma you’re about to face is your overall health.

Water: Water is the most significant component of the human body, comprising 60 to 75% of each of us. It is vital for all of the body’s systems, including the digestion, skin, hormones and metabolism. Water maintains skin hydration, making it plump, moist and free of blemishes. When it comes to digestion, water aids in eliminating the body of waste, impurities and toxins while maintaining regularity and preventing bloating and constipation.

Protein: Protein is needed for tissue building and repair. Our hormones, organs, immune system, red blood cells and enzymes are all composed mostly of protein.

Multivitamin: A highly potent multivitamin and mineral supplement will guarantee that you meet all of your micronutrient needs. This will prepare the body for the upcoming tissue repair process.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C improves blood vessel dilation and aids in collagen production which brings more nutrients and blood to damaged tissues for wound healing.

Zinc: Zinc is used for growth, tissue building and repair, and improved immunity. Make sure you don’t consume too much though, as it can interfere with absorption of other minerals, like copper and iron.

Coenzyme Q 10: An antioxidant great when taken before surgery, to help with a quicker recovery following surgery.

Probiotics: Antibiotics are often given for cosmetic surgery. Although antibiotics kill the bad bacteria in our bodies, they also destroy the good bacteria in our stomach. A regular routine intake of probiotics leads to good bacteria inhabiting the gut and preventing gas, nausea, constipation, discomfort or bloating that may develop as antibiotic side effects.

One Week Pre-Surgery

Before your surgery, certain foods may interfere with immune function, anaesthesia, bleeding and healing time. These items should be avoided:

  • All herbal supplements should all be STOPPED 1-week pre-surgery.
  • Ginkgo, Green tea, garlic, cayenne, flaxseed, ginger, potatoes and tomatoes may have an adverse effect on bleeding time or anaesthesia.
  • Foods that are high in refined sugar should be avoided due to the fact that they can suppress immune function.
  • Reduce your intake of fish high in Omega 3’s or even it out with eating some lean red meat.
  • Limit caffeine, alcohol, MSG and aspartame.
  • Avoid aspirin and all other NSAIDs

Post-Operative Nutrition

The overall goal of good post-surgery nutrition is to stimulate a fast healing and recovery process with the help of a well-supported immune system while minimising inflammation, swelling and pain. Pre-operative supplement may be resumed, while allergenic foods, sugar, alcohol and caffeine should still be avoided. Also, the below items can be added to improve recovery outcomes.

Diet: The foods you eat 72 hours post-op should be bland, soft, and easy to chew and digest.

Anti-inflammatory Foods: Start incorporating foods that are high in monounsaturated fats in your diet, like; avocado, extra-virgin olive oil and blueberries. Stay away from foods that will increase inflammation, including foods that are high in refined sugars and trans and saturated fats.

Supplements: Ensure that you continue taking Coenzyme Q10, Zinc, Glutamine, Arginine and Probiotics. Wait at least 72 hours before going back to Vitamin E, C, K and B, multivitamins and fish oils.

Arnica Montana: This magical anti-inflammatory herb works by facilitating blood flow, dilating capillaries to the injured tissue to minimise pain and swelling. Continue for one-week post-surgery.

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