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What Should I Eat After Surgery?

healthy eatLast Friday our trivia question pertained to the kinds of foods we should eat after surgery and we received excellent responses, so great job everyone! Remember, the process of surgery can be very draining on the body. Inadequate nutritional intake can negatively affect the quality of life by prolonging healing and recovery. This in turn leaves the patient susceptible to developing post-surgery complications. Proper nutrition is important for health and well-being. This is especially so when you are recovering from your surgery.

Even family members have lots of questions to ask about what are the best foods they can prepare and give to their family member who has just had surgery. The nutritional goal for a person recovering from surgery is to ensure they eat sufficient calories and protein by having balanced meals.
The main goals for a patient during this post-operative phase are:

• To prevent or replenish nutrient deficiencies
• To preserve lean muscle mass and muscle
• To protect the patient’s immune function to reduce the risk of secondary infection

Eating nutritional foods can help one avoid complication, stimulate cell growth and purify the body. The best things to eat include fiber, protein, whole grains and a few special ingredients that help reduce inflammation. Stay away from foods that are high in sugar, fat and sodium. Do not eat anything with empty calories such as cakes, cookies and the like and especially do not consume alcoholic beverages. Other foods that are known to cause constipation are processed foods, dairy products such as cheese, red meat, sweets, and dried foods. Dairy products are also known to increase secretions in the lungs, so avoid them if you have a cough.

Fiber is best after surgery since it will prevent constipation, a common side effect to surgery. Whole grain breads, fruits, vegetables (both raw and cooked) and old-fashioned, low-sugar cereals are excellent suppliers. Vegetables are suggested to eat raw since cooking can release their powerful minerals and nutrients. Legumes, barley, oats and bulgar are also good choices. But if you cannot chew, cook and blend vegetables. Anything can be blended to make it easier to eat. Try to consume garlic and onion, but speak to your doctor before you do. These two foods have anti-inflammatory agents, as do turmeric (a spice) and ginger.

Lean protein contains essential components for recovery. Red meat is not advised because it can cause constipation and is high in saturated fats. Instead, opt for egg whites, chicken, fish or vegetarian-friendly protein foods such as beans, seeds, nuts, tofu and other soy proteins. Quinoa is also great to have as it is rich in protein and is easily digested. Be sure your recovery diet is rich in zinc and calcium.

Fresh, healthy, minimally processed foods are your best bet for a fast and great recovery. Avocados, grapefruit, oranges, apples, bananas, berries and grapes are excellent to munch on or blend into a smoothie. Spinach, tomatoes, carrots, kale, sweet potatoes—any colorful fruit or vegetable will help your body heal. They will provide essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C to ward off infection and vitamin A and E for the elimination of toxins and building of tissue.

Don’t forget to always drink up! Keep the fluids flowing by drinking plenty of water or anything that has no refined sugar. As a general rule of thumb, remember to speak with your surgeon or a qualified dietitian to help assess and make recommendations for meal planning.

About Dr. Jon Paul Trevisani
Dr. Jon Paul Trevisani earned his medical degree with Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) distinction at the University of Nebraska Medical School in Omaha, Nebraska. He then completed five years of general surgery residency training at the University of Kansas Medical Center and a 2 year residency in plastic surgery at the University of Rochester, Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York. Dr. Jon Paul Trevisani is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Florida Society of Plastic Surgery and the Florida Medical Association. He has also received numerous awards for his work in plastic surgery including the Patients’ Choice Award, America’s Top Physicians in Plastic Surgery, Doctor’s of Distinction selection for Orlando Magazine, and voted the best in his field in the Orlando Sentinel two years in a row.
For more information on Dr. Jon Paul Trevisani, please call our office today at (407) 901- 4934 to schedule your complimentary consultation or complete our contact form online. The Aesthetic Surgery Centre is located at 413 Lake Howell Road Maitland, FL 32751, and can be found online at jptrev.com or our Facebook Page. You may also visit our exclusive website dedicated to only breast surgery at usabreast.com.

* Information made available from LiveStrong.com
Submitted by: Roshani J. Patel