Pre Op & Post Op Nutrition, Hydration, Healing & Rest

The information in this section is made available through the generous support of Dr. Grant Stevens and Dr. Luis Macias.

When your body goes through surgery it views it as major trauma. Regardless of how darling your new breasts are, your body thinks you were hit by a freight train. It is trying feverishly to repair the damage it sees while you are leafing through the latest Victoria Secret catalog in sheer bliss. It's also why we tell people to not overdo, because you are taking away energy your body desperately needs to repair the damage. You'll get tired quickly, and that's your body telling you to slow down because it can't keep up. Don't burn the candle at both ends - it's so easy to do. Don't rob yourself of the energy your body must burn to heal. You do not want to have a healing complication and/or prolong your recovery.

You can greatly facilitate your healing:

Prior to your surgery, being well hydrated will help make you more comfortable during the time when you can have nothing by mouth as specified by your plastic surgeon. Most importantly however, it will help to move the anesthesia and other surgery drugs more quickly out of your body after surgery. You also should consume water after surgery for continued removal of these substances, as well as facilitating your healing. Increase your water consumption to 8-12 glasses of water per day in the weeks before, as well as weeks following your surgery. Maintaining proper hydration is essential to your healing. It will also help reduce water retention which can make you unnecessarily uncomfortable at this time.

Increase the amount of high quality protein you consume in the weeks before as well as the weeks following surgery, if you eat a standard diet.  Increasing your protein will help your body to do the work it needs to do a lot more effectively and quickly. Select high quality protein such as chicken, fish and eggs and try to avoid fried greasy foods. If you are a vegetarian, vegan or raw vegan, make sure you are eating plenty of greens and cutting back on carbs, fats and eliminating refined foods completely. More information about all types of diets in our Healing Diet Answer pages.

Incorporate dark leafy greens into your meals the weeks before your surgery, as well as in the weeks following your surgery. This may be hard initially, but in conjunction with the water and protein it will truly boost your healing rate. You will not be sorry you did this.  Kale, spring cabbage, collard greens, mustard greens, spinach, green leaf and romaine lettuce, as well as broccoli and asparagus will all make a world of difference in your recovery. As a registered member, you can get direct one and one help through our Founder Annette on the best diet for you.

Eating a banana a day for one to two weeks before surgery or a half a banana a day after surgery if you're arriving at this late, would be a good idea because you need the potassium. Spinach would also work just as well - preferrable fresh, such as in a big salad. Cantaloup and pineapple are also good choices of natural vitamins and minerals that will all contribute to accelerated healing and some people eat pineapple following surgeries to keep their scars from becoming enlarged and angry looking. Try it - you'll be amazed.

Additionally, ask your plastic surgeon for his advice regarding anything you might do to help yourself heal better as well.

The Importance of Water -  Are You Drinking Enough?

1. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so
weak that it is often mistaken for hunger.
2. Even MILD dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as much as 3%.
3. One glass of water shuts down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in
a U-Washington study.
4. Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.
5. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and
joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.
6. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory,
trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.
7. Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash
the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.