Many of our patients wonder if there are any diets or any special foods that they might eat in order to ensure the best healing after surgery. Good nutrition is always something that is worth exploring, but when talking about preparing for surgery, it become a two-sided issue: what to eat and what not to. This is because some foods or supplements alter your body in ways that will help or hinder its performance during surgery and its healing afterwards.
Before we get into foods to seek out and avoid, it’s important to consider your weight. We’ve talked before about how plastic surgery procedures like tummy tucks and liposuction are not weight loss techniques, but if you want to lose or gain weight it’s better to do so before you have surgery. Being either under or overweight puts stress on your body that it doesn’t need while it’s healing, and it’s unwise to deprive your body of nutrients during the months you will be recovering. If you are planning on losing or gaining weight long term, we suggest you be at your goal weight prior to surgery
As far as pre-surgery diets are concerned, Bancroft Feldman doesn’t recommend any specific ones. We do, however, suggest that you begin taking a multivitamin if you are not already taking one. Your body will require more nourishment than usual to fight infection and heal. Eating a balanced, protein-rich diet with lean meats, dairy, green vegetables, and whole grains in the weeks prior to your surgery will provide you with more of the B vitamins you’ll need. Drinking homemade bone broths are also an excellent way to aid recovery. Your grandmother was right about chicken soup!
It’s also important to stay hydrated. All of your body tissues, including those that make up your immune system and your detoxifying organs, require water to do their work. If you feel thirsty at all, that’s a sign of dehydration. Prior to your surgery, you should be mindful of that and drink plenty of water.
As far as foods you should avoid are concerned, junk food is always on the list. Most of it is hard for your body to digest, and it will fill you up without providing the nutrients you need. Please avoid supplements that cause your blood to thin like Vitamin E, Vitamin D, fish oils, garlic pills, ibuprofen, diet pills, ginkgo biloba, and omega-3 pills. Discuss with your surgeon any prescription drugs that you are taking in case any of them have to be temporarily discontinued. We also advise that you quit smoking, at the very least for the weeks before and after your surgery.
We at Bancroft Feldman want you to have the best possible outcome, health and aesthetic-wise, from your procedure. Following all of the above advice will give you a leg up on your recovery process because it will make your body stronger and more able to fight infection and heal.