Post Op Diet: What to Eat Right After Surgery

You may be surprised to learn that there are certain diet restrictions that you should adhere to, just after going under the knife. Whether you had a tummy tuck or a Brazilian butt lift, your diet may need to undergo some changes during your recovery. Surgery is a trauma to the body, no matter how small of a surgery it was. Between all of the medications they give you and the changes that have been made to your body, there’s a lot going on that needs to be taken into consideration post op. 

    In the first few days following your surgery, you will want to stick to easily digestible foods. Such as smoothies with added protein. Your GI system needs a little time to wake up and get going again after undergoing surgery. Especially when anesthesia is involved. 

    Once you return to eating regular meals, focusing on eating whole foods would be in your best interest. For those who may not understand what a “whole food” is, it is the fruit or vegetable in its original (“whole”) form. Such as having a baked potato (not loaded), over having French fries, which are typically artificial and processed. Improving your body’s overall nutritional status is always a good place to start in the post-op period. Your body will need all of those good nutrients as it begins the healing process. Artificial and processed foods are packed with chemicals and additives. Severely lacking the nutritional content that we actually need in our body. Especially after surgery. This also includes foods that are high in lean protein. Such as chicken, nuts, and beans. 

    Another rule of thumb for diet immediately post-op, for any surgery really, is to eat foods that are high in fiber. This is good for the body on a regular basis, but when it comes to surgery it is even more important. Because of several factors, a person is more prone to becoming constipated postoperatively. Factors such as the use of anesthesia, pain medications, and a lack of physical activity due to pain/recovery. Increasing your intake of high fiber foods such as whole grains, fruits, and certain vegetables, or using a fiber supplement is one of the best things you can do for yourself post-op or even longer. 

    With that being said, you’ll want to avoid constipation-causing foods. It would be counterintuitive to eat foods such as cheese, milk, sweets, and processed foods if you are trying to avoid becoming constipated post op. This is especially important if you had abdominal surgery. Such as lipo or a tummy tuck. You don’t want your belly to become distended or bloated feeling if you have an incision site in that area. Constipation will increase your pain because of the increased stress on the surgery site. 

    Foods high in sugar or drinking alcohol is definitely not recommended in the first few weeks following your surgery. These are inflammation provoking foods/drinks, which is the last thing you want to put in your system. Instead, you want to take in foods that decrease inflammation, such as antioxidant containing foods. This includes olive oil, berries, and avocados. Just to name a few. 

    A post-op diet is a diet that would be good to follow on a daily basis always, whether you just had surgery or not. But, since you did just undergo (or are planning to undergo) plastic surgery, sticking within these dietary guidelines is more important than ever.