Nutrition Before and After Plastic Surgery


Any time you opt for surgery – even if it’s elective – it’s still important to consider what to put into your body and what to avoid.

Getting the proper nutrition before and after plastic surgery is going to make a difference in how quickly you heal.

That’s why you should always discuss any dietary restrictions you may have with your board-certified plastic surgeon. It’s possible that certain diets could deplete you of key nutrients that will lend to optimal healing.

Preparing Your Body

There are certain foods, drinks, and supplements you may need to avoid the days or week before you prepare for your plastic surgery. Many of these have to do with how they impact blood clotting, but there are other factors.

For example, if you regularly eat a lot of omega-3 foods or take a supplement, you’ll probably need to refrain before surgery because they can increase bleeding and thin the blood.

Vitamins B, D, E, and K can all interfere with anesthesia. And herbal supplements sometimes have anti-coagulant or other qualities that can cause bleeding, and kidney or liver malfunction. They can also affect how patients process anesthesia.

Finally, you’ll be discouraged from two of the biggest offenders – alcohol and caffeine. Along with dehydrating your system, alcohol can thin the blood. Caffeine, meanwhile, can increase bleeding and elevates the heart rate. If you can’t imagine a day a week without your cup of joe, take heart. You likely will only need to abstain a day or two before the procedure.

Keeping Clean for Better Recovery

Going into the surgery clean is also going to assist with recovery. The mistake some patients make is going right back to poor eating habits post-op. When they get bored while waiting for the body to heal, they may be prone to sugary or salty snacks. This is a mistake.

Sugar creates inflammation and suppresses the immune system – neither of which is optimal for healing. Furthermore, salt will zap you of the hydration that’s critical for recovery. It causes you to hold water and can prolong any puffiness of swelling you might experience.

And set the beer/wine/cocktail aside too. Like salt, alcohol also causes fluid retention which can prolong swelling. What’s worse though, it may interact in negative or even dangerous ways with pain medications.

Good news? You can have your coffee again.

The Best Nutrition Before and After Surgery… and Beyond

So now that you know all the things you should avoid, what’s on the approved list of beneficial nutrition before and after surgery? We’ll take a look at the non-offenders:

  1. Protein

Collagen and blood cell production rely on protein while healing tissues and transporting nutrients. So load up on lean meats, eggs, seeds, and nuts before surgery. Then you can always add the omega-3 heavy fish back in after surgery.

  1. Zinc & Iron

In terms of preventing infection, zinc is the biggest go-to. Meanwhile, iron helps build red blood cells to boost the above mentioned nutrient delivery. Oysters have the most zinc of all foods. If you’d sooner eat pond scum, you can also find zinc in chick peas, tofu, hemp seeds, oats, and lean beef. These are similar sources for iron, but add in some dark-leafy greens to complete the picture.

  1. Vitamins A & C

As mentioned above, you’ll want to avoid vitamins B, D, E, and K before surgery. But you can certainly invite them back into your diet after your procedure. Meanwhile, vitamins A and C are kosher for both before and after.

Fruits and vegetables loaded with vitamins A and C, such as spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, and broccoli, are loaded with antioxidants that will help reduce inflammation and combat the negative effects of free radicals.

  1. Water

It should go without saying, but drinking plenty of water is nearly always good for you. This is especially true before and after surgery. Staying hydrated is key in both cases. Skin that is hydrated before the procedure will be better equipped to heal wounds and leave less scarring. And post-op, water is key in maintaining the body’s lymphatic system which is busy flushing out the by-products of tissue healing.

So raise a glass (or eight) to water.

Prepare to Look and Feel Great

You’re making a big investment when you decide to get plastic surgery. So you want to get the most out of it.

Contact us today for your free consultation where you’ll be able to discuss diet and nutrition with your plastic surgeon.

Then strive to maintain proper nutrition before and after plastic surgery. Once you establish these good habits, you’ll be surprised at how great you feel.