Nutrition and Health around the Time of Surgery
The following are helpful hints that will minimize unnecessary, excess swelling as well as enhance healing.
Smoking or any form of nicotine (including patches or nicotine gum) is a huge no-no, and will almost certainly cause healing problems. In most cases, you will have to be nicotine free for 3 months before and 3 months after surgery. Some patients have had success with smoking cessation using water vapor cigarettes without nicotine.
NO SALT!!! NO SALT!!! NO SALT!!!
(limit to 1 gram (1000mg) per day, due to swelling). This includes…
Meat and Other protein foods: Ham, Canadian bacon, bacon, luncheon meats, hot dogs, sausages, pepperoni, dried beef, corned beef, canned meats, pastrami, canned fish, sardines, herring, lox, anchovies, caviar, cheese, regular peanut butter, and T.V. dinners.
Vegetables: Sauerkraut or other vegetables prepared in brine, olives, pickles, relish, V-8 juice, regular tomato juice, spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce or tomato paste, frozen peas.
Breads & cereals: Bread and rolls with salt toppings, corn chips, potato chips, salted pretzels, salted popcorn, and other salted snack foods.
Fats: Bacon fat, salt pork, olives, salted nuts, party spreads and dips.
Soups: Canned broth soups, commercially prepared stews, bouillon cubes, and instant or dried soups.
MSG: Be careful of monosodium glutamate (MSG) used in Chinese food. When you order Chinese food, you can request that it be prepared without MSG.
Alternatives: Season with herbs, spices, Mrs. Dash, Tabasco, lemon juice, or horseradish. Eat home prepared meals, using fresh ingredients, instead of canned, frozen, or packaged meals. When dining out, request dressings and sauces on the side. Ask the chef to hold the salt in food preparation.
Foods you SHOULD eat 1 week before and 6 months after treatment
- Protein has been show to enhance healing and replace lost blood cells. You should always have protein with every meal. Good sources of protein are fish, chicken, turkey, and beef. Strict vegetarians do not heal as well as fish/chicken/meat eaters.
- A healthy balanced diet consisting of protein, carbohydrates, and fat will help you with healing. Be sure to eat green vegetables and fruit with your protein.
It is very important NOT to lose weight during healing. The decrease in nutrition will stress the body, and you will not heal properly.
Bromelain and Arnica are homeopathic preparations which may help you heal more quickly and bruise less. Arnika Forte is available in our office for $44 – the only combined arnica and bromelain capsule on the market, using the highest grade and strengths available. Take two tablets per day after surgery for seven days.