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Douglas A. Taranow, DO, FACOS

Why You Shouldn’t Diet Right Before Surgery


Posted October 10, 2017 in Pre-Operative Care

Paleo style breakfastWhen you undergo any type of surgery, your body is put under substantial stress. While you may feel the desire to shed some pounds before a surgical procedure, it is far more beneficial to stick to a standard, healthy diet. Proper and speedy recovery from surgery depends on having adequate nutrients, and a low-calorie diet deprives the body of vital nourishment. Some of the potential risks to pre-op malnourishment are:

An Impaired Immune System

Without proper nutrition, the immune system becomes compromised, making it harder to fight off infections. While minor infections may be treatable upon onset, some infections can lead to serious post-operative complications.

Slower Healing

Depriving yourself of essential vitamins can make it difficult for your body to heal itself. Proteins and antioxidants stimulate the formation of new blood vessels and collagen production, both of which are necessary for optimal healing.

Prominent Scarring

The malnourishment complications mentioned above contribute to noticeable scarring, which is considered by many to be an aesthetically unsatisfying result. When the body struggles to heal and fight off lurking infections after surgery, it is unable to produce smooth, inconspicuous scars at the surgical site.

Best Pre-Operative Foods

Some of the best sources for nutrients that boost healing and speed up recovery include:

  • Beta-carotene: pumpkin, carrots, leafy greens
  • Lycopene: tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit
  • Protein: poultry, eggs, beans
  • Vitamin C: oranges, berries, mangoes, broccoli, spinach
  • Vitamin E: nuts, avocados, seeds

To learn more about pre-operative care, schedule your consultation with Dr. Taranow today! Contact us by calling (212) 772-2100 or by filling out our online contact form.