Patients who eat well and live a moderately healthy lifestyle should have a better time of both plastic surgery and plastic surgery recovery.
Better, at least, than a patient who eats poorly and is chronically immobile. Right? I mean it seems so obvious that it almost needn’t be said.
But patients are sometimes caught off guard to find that they need to pay particular attention to their nutrition, in addition to wearing surgical drains and garments and getting lots of rest.
How Dietary Advice is Usually Dished Out for Plastic Surgery
It’s very, very rare that a person wanting plastic surgery would consult a professional dietician in addition to his or her plastic surgeon. In fact, it likely never happens for the most of us, though the “rich and famous” are probably exceptions since they tend to already have hired help.
In the U.S., plastic surgery patients are almost never advised to see a dietician or specialist to help them work out what to eat after plastic surgery. Instead, their board-certified plastic surgeon shares his or her thoughts, advice, and best-practice, as accumulated over years and years of experience and many, many patient successes.
Could you hire a dietician? Yes. Do you need to? Probably not, but if it helps you feel better about the surgery you’re about to undergo, by all means go ahead.
Your surgeon (assuming a board-certified plastic surgeon) has many many dozens or hundreds of cases under his belt and has seen what works well and what doesn’t when it comes to a plastic surgery recovery diet or lists of specific foods to eat or to avoid.
It can be made incredibly complicated; it doesn’t need to be.
Normally, just putting that extra bit of attention and care into the foods you buy and eat is enough to ensure that you get a decent amount of nourishing foods, but not enough of the recommended vitamins.
Vitamins are typically recommended separately to food as supplements, since most food nowadays lacks adequate vitamins and minerals.
A good multivitamin should set you up well enough for plastic surgery—but be sure to avoid vitamins that cause or contribute to bleeding and bruising (Vitamin E, and the others listed here:)
- See also: Vitamin C Before Breast Augmentation? Yes Please.
- See also: 28 Things Not to Do Before Plastic Surgery
- See also: Preparing for a Facelift?
- See also: What to Eat After a Facelift
An exception to the “rule” that dietary advice isn’t usually sought out before plastic surgery is that “Patients with systemic illness are advised to consult a dietician.”
How Eating Well Helps With Recovery
Vitamins and minerals in healthy diets including fruits, vegetables, and lean meats may help reduce bruising, swelling, and scarring.
In the weeks after their cosmetic surgery, patients who eat a healthy diet recover more quickly and easily than those whose diets are heavy in highly processed foods. Eating enough nutritious meals can improve your physical health as well as your mental wellbeing, which is vital during the early stages of surgery recovery.
“As of now, based on anecdotal reports from patients who have had previous surgeries without dietary supplementation and recent surgeries with dietary supplementation, we have reasons to believe that proper dietary supplementation definitely helps in better wound healing.”Panse N, Sathe V, Sahasrabudhe P, Joshi N. Diet, wound healing and plastic surgery. Indian J Plast Surg. 2013 Jan;46(1):161-3. doi: 10.4103/0970-0358.113748. PMID: 23960336; PMCID: PMC3745116.
Your Diet Should Start Before Your Surgery
Making healthy dietary modifications before your surgery is one of the best ways to guarantee that you recover from surgery without any (or with fewer) possible complications.
For about 4-6 weeks before your procedure, your surgeon might advise switching to whole foods that are unprocessed foods free of added sugars, fats, preservatives, and artificial colors & flavors instead of processed foods and refined carbs. Your body will have enough time to absorb all the nutrients it needs to recover effectively as a result.
Foods That May Help Speed/Smooth Out Plastic Surgery Recovery
All surgeries place the body under additional stress, including the most common elective cosmetic surgery procedures, like liposuction, breast augmentation, and facial plastic surgery. A good diet helps your body deal with this new burden of recovery.
There are certain things you can do to guarantee a seamless transition from your plastic surgeon’s practice to your home in order to enhance the quality of your life after your procedure.
Eating the right foods is one of these things.
Here are some foods that will help provide your body the nutrients and energy it needs to fend against illnesses, build up your energy, and speed up the healing process after your procedure.
1. Antioxidant-Rich Berries
After surgery, antioxidants are the ideal nutritional supplement since they will aid in your body’s ability to heal any wounds. Among the fruits with antioxidants are:
- Bing cherries
Berries are also a great source of vitamin C, which aids in the regeneration of collagen and soft tissue, hastening the healing of your incision site.
2. Healthy Fats
Healthy fat is fantastic for you after surgery since it will aid in the body’s absorption of the vitamins you are receiving from the fruit and veggies. Your immune system needs fat to function at its best, which lowers your risk of illness.
You should try to incorporate healthy fats into you diet, such as those included the following healthy fats in your diet:
- Almond oil
- Cocoa butter
In addition to giving you a sustained supply of energy, healthy fats are also rich in vitamin E, which promotes wound healing and lessens the visibility of scars.
3. Dark Leafy Greens
Even while colorful berries and good fats may taste better, leafy greens are still highly vital for your recovery. This will provide you with a substantial portion of vitamins A, C, and E as well as vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting.
Try including these foods in your diet:
- Swiss chard
- Bok choy
Greens are similar to multivitamins in that they include fiber, iron, potassium, calcium, and B-complex vitamins, all of which will help you feel more energized.
Your body needs a lot of protein and iron after surgery. Through tissue regeneration and accelerated wound healing, the protein’s amino acids will aid in the repair of muscle injury. Additionally, as it produces new blood cells, the iron in meats and substitutes will help you recoup your energy more quickly.
Fill up on protein and iron by eating things like:
- Lentils and beans
Try ground meats or meats that have been slowly cooked in sauces if you discover that harder foods are difficult for you to digest after surgery.
The weeks leading up to and after your procedure will greatly benefit your digestion if you drink enough water. It will also keep your cells hydrated, your mood in check, and your appetite to a minimum. Aim for about 64 ounces of water overall each day, or eight 8-ounce glasses.
If you follow all of these simple guidelines and eat these specific foods full of vitamins and minerals, your body will be ready to recover properly and in the safest way after your plastic surgery.
[Photo by Jeswin Thomas]