Ask the Expert: Upcoming Surgery – Plan-It Lean

Ask the Expert: Upcoming Surgery

Ask the Expert: Upcoming Surgery

Q. I’m going in for surgery in a few weeks – and I’m concerned about the after effects-recovery time, residual effects of anesthesia, etc. Are there products I should take pre- or post-surgery to enhance recovery and help avoid problems?

A. Absolutely – studies have shown that recovery time is greatly enhanced if the patient is healthier. Healthy meal plans may require significant deviations for a brief period to avoid otherwise healthy foods that may affect anesthesia and recovery. Supplements may need to be discontinued temporarily, and certain habits should be at least temporarily abandoned.

Given that I do not know what type of surgery you’re having, here are a couple of great questions to ask your surgeon prior to surgery. Inquire if either “ keyhole” or “band-aid” surgery are options as both are less invasive and do less damage to your skin, muscles and nerves compared to “open” surgery.  These two procedures also require a shorter hospital stay and less recovery time.

If you smoke, drink alcohol or coffee daily – stop at least one week prior.  Avoid potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant 3 to 4 days prior as well. A study done by The University of Chicago showed people who ate these items prior to surgery reacted more unpredictably to anesthesia. Avoid EPA fish oils, Vitamin E, garlic, ginger, ginko and kavakava — all thin your blood.

Here’s what to add:  Water – increase to at least eight 8 oz glasses daily; fiber in powdered form – 2 tablespoons daily to insure better GI function. Keep in mind that without water, fiber turns into  “fur-balls” and may constipate you more!

Take Florastor daily to protect your intestinal villi from anesthesia; begin at least 3 days prior.  Take acidophilus one week prior to balance your PH.  Increase colorful veggies and fruits: 2 cups veggies and 2 pieces of fruits, both high in antioxidants to expedite recovery time and decrease bruising.

Add a liquid  Amino Acid complex and take at least 10 drops daily. Add CoQ10 one-week prior to help your heart recover and always take vitamin C, a minimum of 2000mg daily (a powerful free radical scavenger, along with 50mg of Zinc to assist in rapid healing.

Last and most importantly, take 4 to 5 full spectrum digestive enzymes daily pre- and post surgery, as enzymes reduce inflammation, scavenger toxic metabolites and help you to recover from anesthesia.


Deborah Arneson, Licensed Clinical Nutritionist and consultant, is president of Advanced Nutrition Therapeutics (formerly Healing Quest Center, Inc.) and producer of Health Quest cable show, which airs Fridays at 10:30 pm on Cable25 Chicago.  If you would like more information regarding your path to health, please call Advanced Nutrition Therapeutics at 312.664.2288.   

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