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After any kind of surgery, the best thing we can do for our recovery is to give our body a chance to focus on healing the treated areas; restoring tissue, building new collagen and elastin and keeping the areas free of infection, strain or inflammation. It is important to keep dressings, incision lines and drain sites clean, dry and free of makeup. It’s understandable to think that this is the only after-care instruction to consider, however we also encourage patients to be aware of what they are doing internally to consciously promote optimal healing and scar formation.

Good nutrition post operatively

Foods rich in vitamins and minerals will help your body heal and support your immunity after surgery. They encourage cell turnover and fight free radicals. Anti-inflammatory foods will assist with calming inflammation and swelling. Fibre rich foods will keep bowel movements regular - this is an important aspect of your health post operatively due to the constipating effects of some pain killers.

General anaesthetic, antibiotics and strong pain relief can upset the stomach in more ways than one, so it is important to eat whole, natural foods that our body can easily digest.

Water is the best possible thing you can drink after surgery, followed by herbal teas. Staying well hydrated will help your blood pressure stable and replenish lost fluids. A wonderful way to increase your water intake if you struggle to drink plain water is to add fruits and citrus to the bottle; not only does this infuse vitamins and minerals into the water, it also offers some taste for those who struggle to keep up their fluid intake.

Food and drinks to avoid post operatively, particularly in the first few weeks of healing are alcohol, fast foods and anything with excessive sugar - including soft drink and cordial. Each one of these items encourage inflammation in the body the moment they are digested. Eating and drinking these will not benefit your healing process.

Supplements for post operative healing:

We stock a range of supplements in our clinic that are boosters to your post- operative diet. Three of our favourites are:

  1. Quercetin by BioCeuticals: this powerhouse supplement reduces inflammation, lowers blood pressure and regulate blood sugars. It is also beneficial for fighting free radicals within the body.
  2. Opti3 Vegan Omegas: omegas have been shown to reduce inflammation and infections as well as improving wound healing.
  3. UB 75 by BioCeuticals: antibiotics can destabilise your gut lining, which is why we recommend this multi-strain probiotic. Much of your immune system hinges upon what occurs in your gut; plus, a happy tummy makes the healing process much more comfortable!

Our favourite fibre rich and anti-Inflammatory foods for post op healing include:

  • Broccoli, carrots, beetroot, spinach
  • Pear, apple, strawberries, banana
  • Ginger, turmeric, olive oil
  • Brown Rice, Rye Bread, Whole Grain Bread (in small amounts), oats and brazil nuts

Organic is best as it avoids burdening your body with chemicals while it is trying to recover, but if you can’t get your hands on fresh organic produce, any of the above will be better than a fast food or microwave dinner diet, post operatively.

It’s important to discuss post op nutrition with your doctor, naturopath or nutritionist as major diet changes or supplements can interfere with other medications, treatments and supplements - or trigger intolerances and allergies.

Ultimately, improving your diet and nutrition post operatively can instigate healthy habits that extend beyond the early recovery phase, bringing helpful long terms changes to your lifestyle, energy levels and weight stability.

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