National Nutrition Month

Surgery is like a marathon. You are more likely to get better outcomes if you prepare for it ahead of time.

Good nutrition contributes to a successful surgery and reasonable recovery time. As you prepare for surgery, your doctor may recommend improvements in your diet to make sure your body is in optimal condition for a procedure.

What to expect before surgery
Weeks before your surgery, it is important that you include as many nutrients like protein, fruits and vegetables. These foods will help your body prepare to combat the stress it will go through before, during, and after the procedure.

The following is a general nutrition guideline before surgery:

• Eat enough protein
Protein is needed to repair tissue, slow muscle catabolism (breakdown), and decrease inflammation. Having enough protein in your system can help in wound healing and to fight infections.

It is recommended that you have enough protein in your diet for at least 1 to 2 weeks before your surgery. The amount of protein you need depends largely on the amount of muscle you have. However, research says that about 65 to 100 mg per day can provide you with optimal results.

Some of the good lean protein sources include eggs, chicken, tofu, and fish.

• Include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet
Fruits and vegetables are great natural sources of vitamins and minerals. They’re also good sources of fiber which can help you stay regular before and after surgery.

Make sure you get a variety of vegetables in your meals. Fruits should be eaten in moderation as some can be high in sugar.

If you have an issue with your blood sugar, talking to your doctor or nutritionist can help you determine the right amount and kind of fruits and vegetables for you.

• Don’t forget whole grains!
Whole grains like brown rice and high fiber bread, cereals, and pasta can be good sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are vital during the recovery process especially in preventing complications such as constipation.

Whole grains are also rich in B vitamins which are important for combatting stress.

What foods should you cut back on before surgery?
We advise our patients to cut back on caffeine, alcohol, and added sugar as they can cause more stress on the body. They can also deplete it of its needed nutrients.

The board certified physicians at Premier Surgical Associates of Knoxville and Cleveland, TN want you to have the best experience before, during and after your surgery. To request an appointment with one of Premier Surgeons, please fill out this form.