What you should eat before and after a surgery

Tuesday, July 18, 2023
what you should eat before and after a surgery

A medical procedure such as surgery, can be a traumatic experience for the body. The low movement period along with a predominant shift towards healing can lead to muscle loss, inflammation, and other conditions in the body. Adopting certain dietary habits before and after your surgery can help you recover faster and lessen the chance of unwanted complications. The general surgeon in Bangalore will be able to help guide you on what to expect from your surgery.

Note that every medical procedure may have its own set of guidelines for pre and post-operative meals. Talk to your team to know the best diet to aid your recovery.

Before Surgery Dietary Guidelines

Before your surgery, your general surgeon in Bangalore will explain the procedure and what you can expect. You may also receive certain nutritional guidelines at this time. Certain foods may offer you better benefits in terms of recovery and nutritional composition. The night before your surgery you may be advised to fast for 10 to 12 hours before surgery to reduce the risk of nausea and vomiting after surgery.

Some of the best food options before surgery include:

·         Protein such as eggs, chicken, legumes, tofu, and cottage cheese

·         Healthy carbohydrates such as buckwheat, quinoa, and rice

·         Fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C and other nutrients that aid healing such as bell peppers, citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables etc.

·         Healthy fats such as avocado oil, olive oils, cold-pressed oil

·         Eating a healthy diet prevents fat accumulation which can lead to weight gain during low-mobility days after surgery. Additionally, these nutrients aid healing and reduce the risk of infections. You may also be advised to avoid alcohol and tobacco to avoid complications during surgery.

After Surgery Dietary Guidelines

The type of surgery you have had will likely impact your post-operative diet. Cataract surgery or Lasik surgery may have different requirements as compared to bypass surgery. Additionally, laparoscopic surgery may require you to include more fluids for the first couple of days and stick to lighter food groups such as lean meat and dry toast to help your body recover while Lasik surgery may not have such strict requirements.

In either case, always follow your doctor’s recommendations to aid recovery and reduce the risk of complications. Here, we bring you some general nutrition guidelines following surgery.

You may be required to eat a liquid or soft diet for the first couple of days after surgery. This helps avoid constipation and reduces the stress on the digestive system.

Eat smaller portions of meals more frequently throughout the day. Instead of three big meals, you may be advised to have six or seven smaller meals.

Avoid extra hot or extra cold meals. Stick to a balanced temperature for all dishes.

After a few days, your diet may become more diverse. Some tips to keep in mind include:

·         Eat whole foods such as millets, legumes, whole-wheat bread, brown rice, and oatmeal that offer a steady glucose release. Avoid processed and packaged foods which may lead to inflammation in the body.

·         Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. These offer adequate fiber to help your bowel movement without increasing the risk of constipation. Additionally, the nutritional composition of fruits and vegetables works wonders in balancing your energy, and sugar levels, promoting wound healing, and reducing the risk of infections.

·         Consume lean protein which is easy to digest and essential for wound healing and post-surgery recovery. Healthy protein options after surgery are chicken, fish, tempeh, cottage cheese, unsweetened yogurt, and plant-based protein powders.

·         Keep your body well hydrated. Fluids are an important requirement to aid healing after surgery. Lack of fluid intake can increase the chances of constipation. To ensure you have enough water throughout the day, place a jug of water at your bedside table and keep sipping small amounts of water at regular intervals. In case of nausea and lack of appetite, having ginger-infused water can help. Avoid sugary drinks available in the market as they can impede recovery and increase inflammation in the body.

·         Following a healthy diet after surgery can help your body heal, reduce the risk of fat or weight gain, and allow for a healthy digestive system.


The author is the chief nutritionist, Aster RV Hospital.  


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