Nutrition After Surgery
An important building block for an optimal healing result
An operation means a special challenge for every body, which can be compared to stress. As a result, the body needs significantly more nutrients to fight off possible infections and to heal the tissue defects that have developed.
Therefore, nutrition and the resulting nutrient supply is of great importance, especially immediately after surgery.
One of the biggest problems after surgery is an increased need for protein. This also applies to plastic-aesthetic operations such as breast augmentation, liposuction or tightening operations, be it upper arm lifts, thigh lifts or abdominoplasty. But also in special procedures such as the Mommy-Makover or XXL liposuctions as they are performed at the Sinis Clinic in Berlin, the right nutrition and sufficient supply of nutrients is an essential part of a good healing process. If the body is not supplied with sufficient protein, this, in conjunction with reduced mobility, can lead to a decrease in muscle mass. In various studies, it has been clearly demonstrated that the intake of essential amino acids in the amount of 15-20 g / day causes a significant reduction in muscle loss, while an additional administration of the non-essential amino acids ornithine and arginine can also significantly improve wound healing through accelerated collagen synthesis and reduce the risk of infection.
You should therefore make sure that you eat at least 3 meals a day after surgery, each containing 20 - 35 g protein. In addition, the intake of 5 - 10 g ornithine and arginine as a supplement per day between meals is recommended.
The B-group vitamins, being precursors of important coenzymes, are of crucial importance for wound healing as they support the new formation of cells (such as DNA synthesis and epithelial formation), and a sufficient supply of zinc and vitamin D is also necessary for good wound healing. They take over important functions in the immune system, as they have a positive influence on the inflammatory process during the healing process. A low Vitamin D content thus leads to a 3 to 4 times increase in risk of infection. Antioxidants like vitamins A, C and E as well as herbal antioxidants (e.g. B. Caro-tinoids or grape seed OPC) also reduce tissue damage and support the healing process.
The additional intake of low-molecular hyaluronic acid can also have a supporting effect, as hyaluronic acid activates various cell processes involved in wound healing. This shortens the healing time and improves the quality of the scar.
We therefore recommend our patients to take the additional
- nutrient preparations for basic protection. Including increased amounts of zinc, biotin, pantothenic acid and vitamin D as well as antioxidants, at the latest before the operation, better still 3-4 weeks before the operation date.
- The following rule of thumb applies for a permanent increase in the Vitamin D level: 1,000 I.U. per day in addition to the daily requirement of 4,500 I.U. from all sources permanently increase the 25(OH)D serum level by 10 ng/ml. The ideal Vitamin D level in the serum should be around 60ng/ml For a rapid increase of the -Vitamin D level by 10 ng/ml: 10,000 I.U. per day for 10 days This can be achieved through food, but also through appropriate Vit.D preparations.
In the practice of post-operative aftercare after operations such as facelifts and nose operations, but also in conservative treatments such as the laser treatment for skin rejuvenation at the Sinis Clinic Berlin, the use of enzymes from pineapple and papaya (bromelain and papain) has proven to be significantly anti-inflammatory and decongestant. This has already been proven in several studies. It is important that these preparations are taken after the operation and not at the same time as antibiotics, as bromelain probably inhibits platelet aggregation and the effect can be attenuated by antibiotics. The role of omega-3 fatty acids (the long-chain unsaturated fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)) in healing has an additional positive effect, as they have anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating properties. The focus should be on a sufficient supply of the correct ratio of EPA and DPA, ideally 1.6 g EPA and 1.2 g DHA per day.
Our recommendations for the postoperative supply of enzymes and fatty acids are:
- 3 x 4 tablets of bromelain and papain for daily for three days, then 3 x 3 tablets daily for three days, and then 3 x 2 tablets per day until the swelling subsides.
- 2 - 3 g Omega-3 fatty acids per day (In the ratio of EPA to DHA 2:1!).
After successful healing, it is essential to maintain the nutrient status achieved through supplementation, so that you can maintain the result of the plastic-aesthetic procedure for as long as possible. This is also mainly because the skin feels healthy and firm again, you should continue to support the newly gained attitude towards life in a positive way. The tissue still needs all the important nutrients to be able to fulfil its function. A varied diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, e.g. in the form of smoothies, is ideal for providing the organism with all the necessary vitamins and minerals. In individual cases, supplements can be added, e.g. with vitamin D in case of vitamin D deficiency. At the Sinis Clinic Berlin, we will be happy to advise you in detail and individually on how you can “get the best out of” and for your body through the right nutrition before and after a plastic aesthetic procedure, and will draw up an individual nutrition plan for you. You are welcome to make an appointment with us for this.