Nutrition and Plastic Surgery: What is the Relationship?
Posted November 26, 2018
This month Dr. Antimarino has asked our patient care coordinator, Alex Porter, to share some of her insights regarding plastic surgery and nutrition as she has an extensive background in exercise science, and health coaching.
Here is what she had to say:
Healthy eating has been proven countless times to benefit our general health and well-being. Whether in aiding in the treatment of chronic conditions, preventing chronic conditions, boosting our immune systems, or providing energy, proper nutrition is crucial for our bodies. As you are considering Bellissimo as your Plastic Surgery center, we would like all of our current patients and all potential patients to know that we care deeply and genuinely about your health! There is a large connection between post-surgical healing and success with proper nutrition. Not only do we want our patients to live long, strong, and healthy lives, but it is also important that they all understand the importance of the relationship between nutrition and plastic surgery so that they get the most out of their procedures.
Did you know that surgical outcomes are largely connected with a patient’s preoperative health, including their nutritional status? Approximately 1 in 4 patients who receive outpatient surgery are at risk for malnutrition or are already malnourished (1). There are a variety of ways that strong nutrition assists in the positive outcome of surgery.
Carbs, Fats, and Proteins
Our macronutrients are essential for wound-healing. If you are deficient in protein, it can lead to an extended inflammatory phase after surgery. This is also crucial because having wounds in general increases our baseline for caloric and protein demands. When protein stores are not replenished, this results in a protein deficiency which slows down healing.
Although they often get a bad reputation, carbohydrates are our bodies’ preferred source of energy! With wound healing, carbs are required to repair and regenerate tissue.
An additional macronutrient that is known to have a bad name is fat. Healthy fats are actually necessary and good for our bodies! Fats protect our organs and carry fat-soluble vitamins that are essential for healing. If an individual is deficient in one or more of these macronutrients, they are likely to experience issues with how they heal.
Vitamins and Minerals
Next, our micronutrients also have a significant role in surgical recovery. For example, iron is a component of red blood cells and is responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body. If an individual has low iron (anemia), they may experience weakness, dizziness, headaches, chest pain, and/or poor wound healing. It is very important that anemic patients notify their surgeon of their condition before surgery, as anemia directly affects the blood and how the wounds heal (2).
If you feel as if you may be malnourished, whether due to lack of nutrient-dense food intake, dieting, or experience weight loss without trying, discuss with Dr. Antimarino about getting blood work assessed as well as a recommended course of action to take prior to your surgery. The good thing is, malnutrition is a reversible diagnosis once you are properly treated by your medical provider.
At Bellissimo Plastic Surgery, we care about our patients’ health, both before AND after surgery. If you have any questions or would like to meet with someone in our office to discuss your health status and lifestyle choices, please call us at 844-496-6647 or click here to set up an appointment.
- Roy, Mélissa et al. “Nutrition and the Plastic Surgeon: Possible Interventions and Practice Considerations” Plastic and reconstructive surgery. Global openvol. 6,8 e1704. 7 Aug. 2018, doi:10.1097/GOX.0000000000001704