Some nutritional supplements help speed wound healing while others reduce bruising, swelling, and discomfort such as pain and itch. Others are recommended to prepare your body for the intense experience and increase resilience.
Optimizing your post-surgical diet by eating healthy foods and taking supplements also improves the immune response and prevents wound infections, sepsis (blood poisoning), and other possible complications.
You must also be aware of Herbs, Supplements and Medications to Avoid prior to surgery
More people take some multi-vitamin or herbal supplement, but very few think to disclose their vitamins to their doctor and anesthesiologist prior to their surgery. After all, they’re just vitamins; they don’t count as a medication right? Wrong!
You may not have given much thought to this but herbs, and products that contain them, are packaged as nutritional supplements and will not provide warnings, dosage information or suggested usage instructions. As a result, many people incorrectly assume that a “natural” medicines are inherently safer than a pharmaceutical drug.
This is not only untrue; it’s an assumption that can be dangerous if a person is facing any surgery, whether it’s plastic surgery or not. Many people are planning plastic surgery fail to disclose their herbal supplement use out of fear of being ridiculed by their doctor. (Who would think that licorice could be dangerous?)The fact is, your doctors want and need to know what you are taking to ensure your safe recovery. We have compiled a list of herbs, vitamins and supplements you should avoid and inform your surgeon. Available to download
If you are taking any medications on this list, they should be discontinued two weeks prior to surgery and only panadol should be taken for pain. Please inform your doctor of all medications which you are taking. It is important that each medication you take is specifically approved by your doctor.
Vitamin C supplementation is highly recommended by experts. It helps promote healing, and it is the key nutrient required for making collagen, which is what heals your tissue together.
It plays an essential role in collagen formation, a resilient immune function, and as a tissue antioxidant. Also, it is a free-radical scavenger.
Without proper amounts of vitamin C good healing is not possible. Additional vitamin C intake before, during, and after the operation is especially recommended for those who smoke and others who may risk being deficient.
It is recommend to take vitamin C to anyone with an open wound because there is evidence that it helps them heal faster. Highly recommend following an injury to the skin because it builds collagen, and many surgeon have long used it post-operatively .
The next supplement and possibly one of the most important is zinc. Medical research has shown that zinc supplements can increase the speed of healing dramatically.
Zinc has reduced healing time after surgery by 43% in some cases. It plays a vital role in the immune system can reduce inflammation, bacterial growth, and scar tissue creation, whereas a deficiency can worsen the scar.
Zinc also helps to aid proper metabolism, balance blood sugar, and increase sensory perception.
Vitamin B has just recently been noticed for its benefits in the healing process. However, there is limited information on its exact advantages and function in the healing process.
Vitamin B complex is thought to speed up wound healing, increase protein synthesis and a number of repair cells at the wound. It also prevents excessive inflammation. Vitamin B5 is particularly beneficial right after the wound occurs.
Opt for either a Vitamin B complex or a multi-nutrient that contains 25 to 50 mg of the B complex vitamins.
Another important supplement is vitamin A. it is required in cell growth (especially epithelial and bone formation), which is very important in the healing process that takes place after surgery. It is known to activate production of connective tissue, including collagen (promotes tissue synthesis), and helps new blood vessels grow , which is necessary in nourishing newly formed tissue. Vitamin A also enhances resistance to infection by stimulating the body’s immune function.
A very popular supplement is Arnica Montana. Arnica is a mountain extract that has been used for many years.
It helps reduce and clear bruising, and it also speeds the healing process after surgery. Available as a cream and in capsules available from most chemist or natural remedy shops.Probiotics
Probiotics are not only known for their specific healing benefits regarding certain surgeries, but they are known to have beneficial effects in general.
Surgery patients often receive antibiotic treatment. This disrupts the gut flora and may create fungal disorders (including yeast infections), digestive problems, and diarrhea.
Probiotics can help neutralize these unwanted effects.After surgery, it’s recommended to use a strain that contains acidophilus and bifida bacteria.
Another well-known and popular substance is Bromelain. It is used to reduce bruising, swelling (edema), pain, and healing time. Certain claims are disputed because studies show mixed results.
Bromelain, also called ‘pineapple extract,’ is a combination of several compounds, including a large amount of a special protein-digesting enzyme. This enzyme is able to be digested and thus affect the blood and body, rather than just the stomach and intestines
Various studies however indicate that Bromelain reduces swelling, bruising, pain after surgery and physical injuries, and healing time. Bromelain is often used in conjunction with Quercetin.
Quercetin, a plant pigment naturally found in foods such as onions, is a so-called bioflavonoid. It promotes histamine release in the body and thus acts like an anti-inflammatory. Usually after surgery inflammation is a common response by the body.
While it is totally normal, it can be quite uncomfortable and sometimes painful. Luckily Quercetin is known for its anti-inflammatory traits. On top of that, it is also known in speeding up the healing process.
Why Take Supplements After Surgery?
Your dietary intake influences all kinds biological and chemical processes in your body. These processes affect how quickly one recovers after surgery.
Wound healing involves the activity of an intricate network of blood cells, tissue types, cytokines, and growth factors. This results in increased cellular activity, which causes an intensified metabolic demand for nutrients.
Maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet, ideally optimized with appropriate supplements, (e.g. vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals) can enhance the surgical healing process.
Studies show that recovery rates times can be reduced dramatically in some cases.
Malnutrition results in less quick and less optimal healing of the body. Some people have a deficiency that may cause certain post-surgical complications.
- not properly healing wounds.
Depletion of one or more vitamins or minerals can have a significant, negative influence on the healing process.
It is essential to avoid deficiencies but also people who do not have a deficiency can find valuable benefits if taking these substances.
In addition, non-dietary supplements can be beneficial to the healing process. For instance compression garments and post surgery aids.