What to Eat and Drink During Surgery Recovery

Plastic surgery recovery is a very important time for patients. Not only are the first couple weeks the most difficult time following your procedure, but the way you take care of your body during this period can play a big impact on your final results and overall health.

If you are undergoing plastic surgery, your surgeon will give you detailed post-op instructions that will guide you through your surgery recovery. You will want to read these thoroughly and ensure you have all necessary supplies before you are in recovery.

One of the most commonly asked questions by patients undergoing surgery is what they should eat and drink during to speed up recovery and healthy healing. Below is a list of foods and drinks you should consider having in stock before your plastic surgery recovery:

1. Lots of Liquids
Drinking an abundance of fluids is necessary after surgery. Dehydration is one of the most common reasons for hospital readmission after surgery. Drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day during recovery is recommended by doctors to ensure optimal health after surgery. Many patients also opt to drink sports drinks such as Gatorade or Powerade for added electrolytes. Other liquids like fruit juices such as pineapple or apple juice are OK to drink too, as long as they are in moderation. As you prepare for and recover from surgery, you should avoid alcoholic drinks altogether.

2. Whole Foods
Whole foods, rather than processed foods, are excellent to eat during surgery recovery. For example, an orange would be a whole food. Orange juice, though, would be a more processed version of that food. A baked potato is a whole food, while a French fry is more processed and less healthy, having been fried. Chicken breast is better than chicken nuggets, onions are better than onion rings, etc. Aim to obtain most of your nutrition from these whole foods, which is actually a healthy way to eat every day, not just the weeks following surgery. Doing so will offer your body more nutritional benefits and will help keep you as fit and healthy as possible!

3. Foods High in Fiber
Fiber is an essential ingredient during surgery recovery, as it can help ease constipation, a commonly reported condition after surgery. Constipation isn’t just a minor inconvenience during surgery recovery – it is actually a primary cause of long recoveries and can send many patients back to the hospital. Whole fruits and vegetables, certain cereals, and whole grains are all great sources of fiber. However, make sure you save your fruit and vegetable intake for after surgery. During the 24 hours before surgery, patients should avoid foods that are high in fiber. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains take longer to digest, and it is important to have as little food as possible in your system before surgery begins.

4. Healthy Fats
Healthy fat is excellent for your overall wellbeing and important to consume during your recovery period. Especially following surgery, healthy fat helps your body absorb all the vitamins you are getting from your fruits and veggies and provide you with a long-lasting source of energy. Fat is essential for strengthening your immune system, decreasing your chance of infection, helping your wounds heal faster and reducing the appearance of scars. Some popular healthy fats include olive oil, avocados, coconut oil, nuts and seeds. Fats.

5. Lots of Calories – However you Can Get Them!
Many patients report losing their appetite in the days after surgery. While it may be difficult to eat whole foods while your body is in recovery, it is important to make sure you are taking in enough calories during this time. Failing to eat enough after surgery can slow healing and delay the closure of your incision. If you are not constipated and are still having trouble with your appetite, consider consuming calorie-dense foods, such as a smoothie, which can contain dairy, fruit and even protein powder as necessary. If you are unable to consume enough calories after your surgery, try to eat calorie-dense foods whenever possible. That means eating foods that contain more calories per bite than others. For example, a cup of green salad would be a food low in calories per cup, while an avocado would be very high in calories per cup.

6. Foods Low in Sodium
Lastly, patients should avoid foods that are high in sodium, or salt, during surgery recovery. Salt retains water and can increase a patient’s swelling after surgery, which will cause your results to take longer to settle in. To avoid excessive sodium intake, patients should try sticking to whole foods instead of prepackaged foods and avoiding adding too much salt to their meals. Additionally, electrolyte infused drinks should be limited the first few days after surgery, as they may have the adverse effect of increasing bloating.