What should you avoid before plastic surgery?
The Number One Thing to Avoid Before Surgery
No smoking! This unhealthy habit is particularly dangerous during the weeks before and after surgery. Nicotine constricts blood flow and can dramatically affect both your surgery and your body’s ability to heal. Popular smoking cessation products such as nicotine gum, e-cigarettes, and nicotine patches are equally dangerous: the nicotine in these products is what complicates surgery and the healing process. Avoid all forms of nicotine at least one month before and after surgery.
Foods to Avoid Before Surgery
shutterstock_109517018This may be surprising, but there are a handful of healthy foods that can have a negative impact on surgery and healing. You should cross the items below off your shopping list before surgery:
- Green tea is touted as an antioxidant powerhouse, but this popular brew can also interact negatively with anesthesia, increase blood pressure, and cause accelerated heart rates. Stop drinking green tea at least 10 days before surgery, and be sure to ask your doctor when it’s safe to ingest again.
- Fruits and vegetables are typically a staple in a healthy, well-balanced diet, but not when you’re preparing for surgery. During the 24 hours before surgery, I tell my patients to avoid foods that are high in fiber. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains take longer to digest, and it is important to have as little food as possible in your system before surgery begins.
- Certain beverages, both alcoholic and nonalcoholic, can impact your surgery. Choose clear drinks, such as water, during the 24 hours before your procedure. As you prepare for and recover from surgery, you should avoid alcoholic drinks altogether.
Supplements to Skip Before and After Surgery
Patients should be aware that a number of vitamins and minerals can negatively impact recovery. Here are some common supplements to avoid leading up to and following surgery:
- Vitamin E is a blood thinner, which can complicate your surgery, negatively impact your wound healing ability, and increase risk during recovery. Be sure to also avoid multivitamins that contain vitamin E.
- Fish oil supplements are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids that provide numerous health benefits. Unfortunately, they can also increase bleeding and bruising and should be avoided in the days leading up to surgery.
- Herbal supplements, like gingko biloba, can increase your risk of bleeding during and after surgery. St. John’s wort can prolong the effects of anesthesia, and even mild supplements like echinacea can have a negative impact on the safety of your surgery.
To ensure a safe and successful outcome, it is essential that you tell your surgeon about any over-the-counter supplements or prescription medications you take. Almost anything purchased at the health food store has the potential to increase the risk of bleeding during surgery. Do not take any over-the-counter medications or supplements, with the exception of Tylenol, for two weeks before and after surgery without first consulting with your surgeon.
What to Eat Before Surgery
Plastic surgery is typically scheduled weeks or months in advance. You can use this to your advantage by increasing your intake of foods that have the nutrients your body will need for recovery. For example, be sure to eat plenty of:
- Protein: Protein is the essential nutrient in the creation of new blood cells and collagen. Collagen is the building block for skin, muscle, tendons, and bones—all of the physical structures that need to heal after surgery. Protein is also vital for a strong immune system. Women should aim to eat 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. That means a 120 pound (54 kilogram) woman should take in about 65 grams of protein per day. Men’s protein needs are typically higher at 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. For example, a 150 pound (68 kilogram) man should take in about 102 grams of protein per day. Foods like fish, eggs, chicken, turkey, beef, tofu, low-fat yogurt, nuts, quinoa, and beans are all good sources of protein.
- Fruits and Vegetables: Eat fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamin A, vitamin C, selenium, and manganese. All of these nutrients fight what are known as free radicals. Free radicals appear in your body as a natural response to stress (like surgery) and can cause tissue damage and slow the healing process. You’ll find vitamin A in kale and spinach, and vitamin C in citrus fruits and green peppers. Mushrooms, cabbage, and spinach contain plenty of selenium. Raspberries, pineapples, and bananas are all good sources of manganese. In general, if you’re eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables each day, you can be sure you’re getting the nutrition you need.
- Water Drink at least 64 ounces of water a day. 80 to 100 ounces is even better.
Why Nutrition Matters Before And After Plastic Surgery
Swelling and inflammation are the body’s natural response to physical trauma. They occur due to the body sending an increased amount of blood to the trauma’s site. The blood carries with it platelets and other nutrients that help the site heal itself. That said, there is such as a thing as too much swelling and inflammation. Heavy swelling and inflammation result in pain and can hinder healing. Common home remedies include elevation and icing. Elevation places the swollen area above the head to discourage additional blood flow. Icing calms irritation and soothes pain. A severely underestimated remedy is one that prevents excessive swelling and inflammation before they occur. That remedy is your diet. Various foods provide the body with their own nutrients or, sometimes, with their own grime. What you eat has a signification impact on your blood pressure, your weight, your body’s functionality, and your mood. Because food wields such great control over your body, it also determines how it responds to trauma.
Here are a few reasons why being prepared can make a difference:
- Maintaining balance
Monitoring portions keeps patients on track without eating too much or too little. “We appropriately portion our meals — each meal is about 400 calories and the snacks come in at about 200 calories — so you don’t have to worry ‘Am I eating too much?’ and can just take pleasure from your food,” Boncompagni says of Eat Sunny. Rather than focusing on what you are cutting out, focus on what you are gaining through micro and macronutrients.
- Saving time & energy
With everything going on in our day-to-day lives, food often becomes an afterthought. But nutrition cannot be overlooked. Following a meal plan or prepping food in advance will save time and energy during the recovery process, when preparing food from scratch may prove difficult.
- Instilling healthy habits
Before a procedure, unhealthy habits (think: smoking and drinking) need to be curbed in favor of good ones. Having a plan in place — pre- and post-op — should help the patient to stick to healthier choices long term. After all, the outcome of the procedure depends on it.
Miracle Foods to Eat Before Cosmetic Surgery
Do you have an upcoming surgery? If so, you may just want to add these five foods to what you’re eating. Loaded with the nutrients you need to help make your surgery a success and your recovery a breeze, you’ll definitely want to stock up in the weeks leading up to your big day.
Mom was right to nag you about eating your spinach. It’s truly one of the most beneficial foods that any of us can incorporate into our diet. And pre-surgery, it offers even more value! Besides being packed with vitamins A, B2, B6, K, and folate, it also contains ample amounts of iron which can increase blood volume and help reduce recover time.
A serving of beans packs a tremendous protein punch that can help keep your blood sugar in check and your energy levels high – definitely important in the days leading up to surgery. Beans are also an excellent source of fiber which can help prevent post-surgery constipation.
Yum! This pre-surgery food is our favorite! Pineapple contains a proteolytic enzyme called Bromelain which has been scientifically proven to both prevent and reduce swelling. Often recommended to those who suffer from athletic injuries and arthritis, it also offers health benefits to individuals undergoing surgery. So, why not toast your upcoming procedure with a big glass of pineapple juice?
That often overlooked purple vegetable hiding at the salad bar actually delivers a host of nutritional benefits including the amino acid l-glutamine which can help reduce healing time by improving nitrogen balances and improving lymphocyte recovery. And, they really do taste good!
How about some oysters on the half-shell? Oysters are one of the best sources of zinc – a natural wound healer. And, this miracle mineral also stimulates the immune system and improves stress levels. Both delicious and beneficial!