What to Eat Before Surgery
Proper nutrition is essential for a healthy lifestyle, but when you are putting your body through something like breast augmentation or Mommy Makeover surgery, you should pay extra attention to the nutrition you are ingesting. Many patients believe they should go on a diet before getting surgery, but you want to make sure you are not depleting the nutrients that your body will need. At Imagos Plastic Surgery, we will give you advice on how to prepare for surgery, including what you should and should not eat in the days leading up to your procedure.
Foods to Eat
Many people experience constipation after surgery. In order to combat this, you should make sure you are consuming a good amount of fiber. Fiber-rich foods include whole grain foods like oatmeal, as well as fruits and vegetables.
Carbohydrates are important for keeping your energy levels up both before and after your surgery. You can increase your carb intake by consuming high-fiber foods like whole grains and legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas, soybeans), which can also prevent constipation.
Proteins contain amino acids that are essential to the healing and growth of tissues. Healthy proteins can be found in lean meats such as poultry, seafood, eggs, nuts, and tofu. Dairy products are also a good source of protein but may worsen any constipation you may experience from pain meds. You can also try adding protein supplements to your diet.
Fat helps your body to better absorb nutrients from your food and sustain energy levels. Healthy fats come from nuts, seeds, and avocado; good fat can also be incorporated into your diet by using ingredients like coconut or olive oil.
Vitamins and Minerals
Making sure you get the correct vitamins in your diet is essential to a good recovery. Vitamin A (carrots, spinach, kale) and Vitamin C (citrus, berries, bell pepper) are both used by the body to help with wound healing. Vitamin D (fish, milk, fortified cereal) is important for bone health. Vitamin K (leafy greens, vegetable oil, fish, liver) is used to aid in the clotting of blood, and Vitamin E (nuts, vegetable oils, fish) helps eliminate free radicals from the body.
Zinc and iron are also a vital part of wound healing. You can find these in foods like meat, dairy, seafood, apricots, eggs, and iron-fortified cereals.
Staying hydrated is probably the most important thing you can do for your health, both pre- and post-surgery. Proper hydration helps to combat constipation, aids in the absorption of essential nutrients and meds, and speeds up healing. You should be drinking eight glasses of water per day, especially following a surgical procedure.
Pineapple and Papaya
These fruits contain protease enzymes (bromelain and papain) that can help with inflammation and swelling, so try to eat them after surgery to help speed up recovery. However, pineapple is also high in salicylates, so your doctor may tell you to avoid it prior to surgery.
Foods to Avoid
Natural Blood Thinners
Some foods may naturally thin the blood and prevent clotting. These foods contain what are known as salicylates. These are the same compounds found in pain relievers like aspirin. Foods containing salicylates include things like almonds, plums, grapes, hot peppers, olives, and Worcestershire sauce.
Hard to Digest Foods
Foods that are harder to digest may worsen constipation. It is recommended that you avoid excessive amounts of dairy, spicy foods, starchy vegetables, processed foods, and red meat. Make sure your diet is also low in sodium, as water retention can also worsen constipation.
Eating right can help you recover faster and achieve the results you desire. A healthy, balanced diet is key to preparing your body for surgery, and it also helps with an easier recovery process. Be sure to consult with your doctor about any specific dietary restrictions they may have for you.