The Plastic Surgery Diet: Foods to Eat, Foods to Avoid
If you’re planning to have any type of plastic surgery, then you should know that what you eat before and after the procedure can have a significant impact on healing time, swelling, scarring, and risk of infection.
As experts in plastic surgery, we wanted to tell you which foods to eat and which ones to avoid to help promote quick healing and a successful surgical outcome.
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.
Drink at least 64 ounces of water a day. 80 to 100 ounces is even better.
What to Avoid Before Surgery
About a month before surgery you should cut back on salt, sugar, and refined carbohydrates like white flour and white rice. All of these foods can increase inflammation and suppress the immune system.
About a week before surgery, eliminate all vitamin and herbal supplements, Omega 3 capsules, as well as ginger, green tea, flaxseed, cayenne, eggplant, garlic, tomatoes, and potatoes as these may as many may interfere with blood clotting. Also, eliminate alcohol, caffeine, and artificial sweeteners.
What to Eat after Surgery
The stress of surgery usually interferes with digestion, so you’ll want to eat soft, easily digestible foods for at least 72 hours after surgery. Foods like apple sauce, chicken broth, scrambled eggs, and yogurt are all good choices.
As you regain your appetite, eat foods high in monounsaturated fats like avocado, extra-virgin olive oil, and almond butter. These foods have significant anti-inflammatory effects and will help reduce swelling. Fruits, especially blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and cherries have anti-inflammatory properties as well and are high in antioxidants. So enjoy these fruits as often as you like.
Keeping up with your protein intake is also important so your body has the raw materials to rebuild and heal. And continue to drink plenty of water.
What to Avoid After Surgery
After surgery, avoid salt, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and refined carbohydrates for at least a month. After three days you can resume any vitamin or herbal supplements.
The closer you follow the guidelines above, the better your surgical experience and recovery will be. If you have questions about what you should and should not eat prior to or after surgery, schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Fodero. He’s available to address any concerns you may have.
Northeastern Plastic Surgery understands your desire for a beautiful, youthful looking body and facial appearance. We use the latest plastic surgery techniques to perform a variety of surgical procedures. Dr. Fodero and the staff are very friendly, helpful, and available to answer any questions you may have. Please contact us today to learn more about the services we offer.