October 26, 2022 Tags: Plastic Surgery News
After any type of procedure or surgery, it’s imperative to closely adhere to aftercare or postoperative instructions to ensure optimal results. Most aftercare instructions involve wound care, getting plenty of rest, managing pain, and avoiding strenuous activities. However, other factors can also impact how well patients recover from surgery. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), diet and smoking are two lifestyle factors that can greatly impede a patient’s ability to successfully recover after surgery.
Those who smoke throughout recovery can expect a longer, more uncomfortable process overall. This is because smoking interrupts blood flow and the delivery of oxygen to tissue. Oxygen is absolutely vital for healing, and nicotine constricts arteries and “diminishes the blood’s ability to carry oxygen to the tissues where it’s needed,” reports the ASPS. Furthermore, nicotine also contains carbon monoxide, which further jeopardizes the body’s ability to recover. Carbon monoxide “permanently blocks the hemoglobin molecules from ever being able to pick up oxygen molecules” — long after the recovery phase — according to ASPS.
In regard to diet, it’s best to avoid foods with a high salt content as this leads to swelling. Alcohol, along with ginger, chia seeds, and turmeric, should also be avoided post-op since they are blood thinners and can put patients at risk for hematomas. After surgery, it’s recommended to eat a healthy, balanced diet full of leafy greens. An anti-inflammatory diet that is rich in antioxidants and excludes heavy, fatty meats is particularly beneficial during the recovery process.