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What food will help me prepare for and recover from plastic surgery?

Like a lot of surgical procedures, plastic surgery is an invasive procedure which will take you some time to recover from. There has been research into types of foods and vitamins that can help you heal faster, but it is also important to follow some simple guidelines for eating the night before your surgery and what foods you'll be able to eat directly after and during your recovery from surgery.

If you are able to, most doctors recommend a light meal such as a salad or vegetables the night before surgical procedures. It is also a recommendation of most doctors to eat fiber the day before as well. Vegetables, fruits and whole grains are good sources of fiber, and make a good light, healthy meal. Remember that if you are having any type of anesthesia or sedation for your procedure that you may not eat or drink for at least eight hours beforehand. Most doctors ask their patients to stop eating by midnight of the evening before the surgery.

Make sure to stock up on soft foods like pudding, Jell-O, or anything that can be prepared quickly and easily. Also include some post-surgery treats such as popsicles and ice cream. If you do not have someone who can prepare meals for you, you can also stock up on frozen dinners, low sodium soups; or cook your own meals and freeze them. It is a good idea to go grocery shopping and get at least two weeks worth of supplies. Buy light foods, such as crackers, soups, apple sauce and fruits. Foods that require little or no preparation and are nutritious are highly recommended, and soft foods and foods that will not require cutting are best. If you are prone to heartburn, stay away from tomato-based dishes. Some foods that can be frozen and reheated easily are chili, spaghetti, vegetable soup, or stew.

With the medication given for pain, you may experience some nausea post-surgery. Have some crackers, Cheez-Its or Goldfish on hand to help alleviate nausea symptoms. Bring a bottle of water to for the ride home, as sipping cool water will help alleviate the nausea as well. If nausea continues, light, dry foods will help you combat this, as well as prescription medications the doctor may give you.

There are also some nutrients that have been recommended for a speedy recovery after surgery. These include Omega-3 fatty acids (found in oily fish like tuna, salmon and mackerel), L-arginine (found in dairy products, meat, poultry and fish, as well as nuts, rice, whole-wheat, soy and raisins), L-glutamine (found in meats, fresh fruits, and vegetables), branched chain amino acids (found in meat, whey protein, egg protein and other dairy products), and nucleotides (found in organ meats such as liver and kidney, legumes and seafood). These nutrients can help boost the immune system, and allow for a faster recovery. Make sure to get plenty of protein during your recovery as well.

Supplements can be found at the vitamin store, and all are found in meats, fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy products. Be careful with supplements as some may contain ingredients that can cause harm after surgery, so check with your doctor beforehand.

If you have any further questions about nutrition and surgery, you can contact a nutritionist, who can help you come up with a menu to help your recovery after surgery.