What you should eat before, during and after your cosmetic surgery: Part 2
We all want to get the best results possible from our cosmetic surgery. Some things are crucial in getting to that goal – stop smoking, get healthy, and come as excited and stress-free as possible. But there other things that are important as well, and I’d like to spend a few minutes talking about one of them – diet.
Post-operative: The goal of optimal post-surgery nutrition is to promote quick healing, lessen the likelihood of infection (through a well-supported immune system) and reduce pain, inflammation and swelling.
Scientific studies have established that requirements for certain nutrients can increase by up to five times during the healing phase after surgery. Lack of nutritional support during this crucial period can adversely affect recovery from cosmetic surgery.
Check with us about the timing, though it’s usually OK to resume pre-operative supplement regimens soon after surgery while sugar, caffeine, and alcohol should continue to be avoided. And please, please, please (am I strong enough on that?), don’t start smoking again! To improve recovery, foods eaten 72 hours post-op should be bland, soft and easy to digest, as digestion is compromised during periods of stress. Protein is very important here, especially lean meats.
Soups and smoothies containing protein are ideal. For the first week after surgery the one week pre-surgery protocol should be followed.
Foods high in monounsaturated fats can be added to diets, such as extra-virgin olive oil, avocado, tart/sour cherries and blueberries, which have a profound anti -inflammatory effect. Foods that increase inflammation, including saturated and trans-fats and refined sugars should be avoided.
Supplements such as arnica, rutin, and bromelain can be useful. (We have a really great combination of these three available at here at Austin-Weston). Weight lifters have known for decades that the amino acid arginine promotes positive nitrogen balance (builds muscle) – but it’s especially useful after surgery (I did some of the early research on this with Dr. John Daly in the late ‘80’s). Glutamine and probiotics can be resumed. The consumption of vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin K, B vitamins, fish oils, and a multivitamin can resume around three days post-op. In sum, our post-op protocol should be followed until you have fully recovered from the operation.
These recommendations will assist you in achieving optimal results from surgery by promoting healing of surgical wounds, supporting the immune system to prevent infection and reducing inflammation and scarring. And who knows, you may end up eating healthier for the rest of your life!