Healthy Healing: Nutrition for Surgery Recovery

What Is Surgery Recovery?

Surgery recovery is the period between when you have your operation and when you go home from hospital. It includes things like: eating, drinking fluids, sleeping, exercising, getting dressed and so on. You might need some medical attention during this time too (like antibiotics or painkillers). Your body needs time to recover from surgery and it will not be able to do everything at once.

The first thing you should do is eat something nutritious immediately after surgery. Eating healthy foods helps your body get back up to speed quickly. If you don’t eat anything within a few hours, your body won’t be able to absorb nutrients properly and will start feeling tired again.

Also, if you’re not eating enough calories, your muscles won’t grow back fast enough and may even become weaker than before the operation!

It’s also very important to drink plenty of liquids right away after surgery. Too little water and you’ll feel dizzy; too much water and you could drown yourself in the process. Drinking lots of fluids will help your body flush out toxins and other waste products from your system.

Water is especially helpful because it contains electrolytes which are needed for many functions in the human body such as blood pressure regulation, muscle contraction, nerve transmission etc…

How To Eat After Surgery?

If you’ve had a general anesthetic then your doctor will have told you what type of food you can and cannot eat after surgery. Usually, you will be able to eat solid food such as soup or mashed potatoes within a day (sometimes even earlier). However, if you’ve had a general anesthetic you shouldn’t eat anything too solid right away since it may cause problems with your digestive system (like vomiting and nausea). This can also result in dehydration since you won’t be able to hold anything down for long.

You might find that for the first day or two after surgery, your appetite is suppressed. This is perfectly normal and it will return when the time is right. In the meantime, you should try drinking plenty of liquids to stay hydrated and nibble on some crackers or bread if you’re feeling really sick (this usually helps settle your stomach a bit).

How To Drink Fluids After Surgery?

Most doctors will tell you not to drink anything solid for one day after surgery. After that, they will advise you to start drinking only clear liquids such as tea, coffee, clear soup, apple juice etc… It’s best to stay away from carbonated drinks since these can cause bloating and indigestion. Also, keep away from energy drinks since they contain large amounts of caffeine which can interfere with your intake of pain medication (which is usually given to you after getting home).

Once at home you can slowly introduce solid foods into your diet while continuing to drink plenty of liquids. As said before, it’s best to eat foods that are a little on the runny side since you’ll have a better chance at keeping them down (and keep your strength up). Some good options are scrambled eggs, omelets, mashed potatoes, apple sauce, pancakes etc…

TIP: Drink your fluids BEFORE you eat and eat your food BEFORE you drink. Otherwise, the process gets a little confusing…

In conclusion, eating and drinking after surgery is very important in speeding up recovery time. This is also true for people who have not had surgery since a poor diet can lead to all sorts of health problems. If you think this guide is helpful, please share it with someone who might find it useful as well.

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Sources & references used in this article:

Healthy Healing: Nutrition for Surgery Recovery by J Garza, O Weightlifting, BJ Jitsu –

Nutrition in wound healing by A Barbul, WA Purtill – Clinics in dermatology, 1994 – Elsevier

Modifying perfusion, nutrition, and stress to promote wound healing in patients with acute wounds by JAD Whitney, MM Heitkemper – Heart & lung, 1999 – Elsevier

Stress and wound healing by LM Christian, JE Graham, DA Padgett… – …, 2006 –

Nursing the surgical patient by R Pudner – 2005 –

Psychological influences on surgical recovery: perspectives from psychoneuroimmunology. by JK Kiecolt-Glaser, GG Page, PT Marucha… – American …, 1998 –

ESPEN guideline: clinical nutrition in surgery by A Weimann, M Braga, F Carli, T Higashiguchi… – Clinical nutrition, 2017 – Elsevier

The impact of psychological stress on wound healing: methods and mechanisms by JP Gouin, JK Kiecolt-Glaser – … and Allergy Clinics, 2011 –