What Foods Should I Eat Before Surgery?

Fruits and vegetables on dark woodAs times progress, elective surgery is becoming increasingly popular. Whether surgery is elective or deemed necessary, your diet can affect your procedure and even the healing process to come. Making proactive food choices can reduce difficulties during surgery and even contribute to quicker postoperative healing.

Several days or even weeks prior to surgery, make foods rich in protein and low-fat dairy products a part of your diet. Chicken, pork, and fish contain an adequate amount of protein necessary for the healing process that follows surgery. Low-fat cottage cheese, vanilla or plain flavored yogurt, and almond milk or soymilk are additional foods and drinks to consider. Combined with vegetables and fruits that are low in sugar, these foods can help minimize complications during surgery. Your surgeon may recommend eating a low fiber/low residue diet, especially the day before surgery. This diet may help reduce the amount of waste that moves through the intestines and may be necessary not only to prepare for surgery, but also to promote healing after the procedure.

Prior to having surgery, there are also numerous foods and supplements to avoid. For example, some medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements should be avoided for about two weeks before surgery and approximately one week after surgery. Not only can some medications, such as aspirin and ibuprofen (e.g., Advil and Motrin), increase your risk for bleeding, swelling, and blood clots, but some vitamins and herbal supplements can also increase your risk for bleeding and affect your cardiovascular system.

The day before surgery, it is important that you follow your surgeon’s preoperative instructions. In general, you should avoid eating whole grain foods and foods with nuts. In addition, it is important that you not eat or drink anything after 11:59 pm the night before your surgery. Although some surgeons allow their patients to drink clear liquids up to five hours before a procedure is performed, it is customary to ingest as little liquid as possible. Avoid swallowing water while brushing your teeth, and for any prescription medication you need to take the day of surgery, plan to do so with the smallest amount of water possible. However, do not take any medications unless your surgeon has instructed you to do so.

Feel free to schedule a consultation with Dr. Martin O’Toole for all of your cosmetic surgery needs by calling (626) 689-7800 or filling out our online contact form today. Our board-certified plastic surgeon is dedicated to providing you with the safest and most effective treatments possible.

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