Want a Quick Recovery From Plastic Surgery? Follow These Pre-Surgical Nutrition Tips.
At Granite Bay Cosmetic, we equip you with a take-home booklet that’s packed with wisdom to make your plastic surgery recovery go as smoothly as possible. While many patients are surprised to learn that certain seemingly innocent medications and supplements are off limits pre- and post-procedure, what you do put into your body is just as important!
Nourishing your body prior to surgery is essential to preparing for a successful, stress-free procedure and recovery, so today’s blog is dedicated to pre-surgical nutrition—including why it’s important and what to focus on in the weeks leading up to your surgery.
The role of nutrition in cosmetic medicine
While your surgeon does the lion’s share of the work when it comes to getting results, don’t underestimate the part that your own body plays. Being generally healthy will help you to heal much more smoothly after surgery, so we will ask you questions about your lifestyle and look for risk factors (such as smoking or preexisting conditions) that could have a direct effect on your recovery.
Your nutritional intake in the time before and after surgery will also have a tangible effect on your immune system and your ability to heal. In fact, eating right is one of the best things you can do to achieve gorgeous results. Boost your recovery process by giving your body nutrients that are known to reduce bruising, swelling, and scarring. A balanced diet will also support your emotional well-being pre- and post-op!
Begin a healthy diet 4-6 weeks ahead of surgery
Be prepared to start making positive changes in your diet at least 4-6 weeks before the date of your surgery. Start by replacing processed foods and refined carbohydrates, which are known to cause inflammation, with whole foods. Front-load your diet with lean proteins and plant-based fats and carbohydrates.
Here is a full list of nutritious foods your body needs during this time—as well as foods you will be better off without.
Eat these foods:
- Fresh vegetables and fruit. Enjoy avocados, leafy greens, and plenty of red and orange vegetables. Aim to add leafy greens to every meal to capitalize on their vitamin-packed goodness. Your body needs the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E to support recovery and help rebuild collagen, the main protein in skin that is deployed as your incisions heal.
- Lean protein. Eggs, chicken, beans, and fish supply protein without unnecessary fats. Protein is also a key nutrient to support your body during the healing process, and it will help you to feel satisfied as you cut back on carbs.
- Unsalted nuts and seeds. You can get a boost in fiber, healthy fats, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals—like magnesium—from nuts and seeds. Healthy nuts and seeds include almonds, peanuts, walnuts, cashews, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds.
- Healthy, plant-derived fats. When you use oil for cooking, choose one that is plant-derived, such as coconut oil. Avocados and nuts also provide healthy fats, which (like protein) will help you to feel full while eating a fruit and veggie-heavy diet.
- Whole grains and unprocessed carbohydrates. While we only recommend eating grains in moderation, whole and sprouted options can provide fiber, energy, and helpful nutrients.
- Use spices that have anti-inflammatory properties. For extra credit, cook with spices like ginger and turmeric, which promote a healthy healing process. (This anti-inflammatory soup recipe uses both!)
Avoid these foods:
- Processed foods. Avoid chips, candy, and other snacks that come in a bag or box from the grocery store, which are typically high in sugar or fat. Also avoid processed meats!
- Refined carbohydrates. Skip the white bread, white flour tortillas, and breakfast cereal. Even relatively innocent-looking foods, like white rice, spike your blood sugar and should be eaten in moderation.
- Dairy products. Keep dairy foods to a minimum, since they can worsen inflammation in many individuals with underlying conditions. If you do choose to eat dairy, select options that are packed with helpful nutrition, such as probiotic-rich plain yogurt.
- Saturated fats. Avoid foods that are high in saturated fat and low in nutrients, such as french fries, mac and cheese, or fast food burgers. (For a hamburger alternative, try our favorite tropical turkey burger.)
- Excess salt. Salt can also sneak up on you: if your food comes in a package, be sure to check the nutrition label for sodium levels.
- Sugar. We’ve mentioned it above, but avoiding sugar is so important, we want to reemphasize the point. Sugar is added to many unexpected foods, so check nutrition labels. (You may be surprised at what products have many grams of added sugar!)
Changing your diet is never easy, so a little preparation will go a long way toward helping you make a change. Read this guide to prepping Sunday for a week of healthy lunches, and be sure to make a meal plan before you head to the grocery store.
What you drink also matters
Make sure you drink plenty of water starting 4-6 weeks ahead of surgery. As a rule, drinking at least eight glasses each day helps to keep your digestion working well and your skin clear, and it’s important for keeping you in general good health.
Discontinue supplements & stop drinking alcohol 2 weeks before surgery
Two weeks prior to surgery, it’s time to discontinue any medications or supplements that may interfere with your body’s ability to safely undergo anesthesia and surgery. We will give you a comprehensive, up-to-date list of off-limits substances and supplements before surgery, including:
- All nutritional and herbal supplements, i.e. multi-vitamins
- Green tea
You may be surprised to see green tea and omega-3 supplements on the list, but many otherwise herbal supplements can act as blood thinners, increasing bleeding during surgery.
Eat light the night before surgery
When you go under anesthesia for surgery, your digestion will be slowed down temporarily, so make sure that your last meal before surgery is light and easy to digest. Heavy animal fats, meats, and fibrous foods take longer to move through your system. Instead, eat fruit, vegetables (non-starchy), and other nutritious foods for your dinner the night before surgery. Just don’t eat too late: you should not eat or drink anything for a full 8 hours before your procedure.
Schedule your consultation at Granite Bay Cosmetic Surgery
At Granite Bay Cosmetic Surgery, we know the value of nutrition, as well as exercise and sleep, when it comes to a smooth healing process, and we’ll be here for you throughout the process of cosmetic surgery—starting with your initial consultation. Contact us to learn more or schedule your consultation by calling (916) 242-2662.