Healthy Post Surgical Recovery

Good Saturday!  It goes without saying that this blog would naturally be on the topic of post surgical recovery.  After all - not much else is happening of note in clinic this week given my absence to care for my daughter for her operation.  Last week we covered some pre surgical preparation and there are many more recommendations to take for that stage but after the procedure, some important measures can be made to help speed up recovery, improve wound healing, reduce dependency on pain medications and increase pain relieving hormones in the body.

Of course, it is recommended to follow the advice of the medical team in charge of making sure you (or your child) are ready to for a safe discharge so always let them know what you may be thinking of including in post surgical recovery whilst in their care.  After you go home, you are still under advice, however you may be in a better position to implement your complementary programs.

Sometimes staging the introduction of supplements  is a good idea but instant consumption of nutritionally packed foods can be really useful for the body in rebuilding mode.  Depending on your post surgical food allowances, most should be able to have the following:

1.  Protein rich smoothies made on non dairy milks (due to bacteria and other organisms that may be still present along with gut inflammatory factors).  These smoothies can have frozen fruit, kale or other green leaves, protein powder (I used a fermented brown rice one), probiotics (Super Kids Food for kids and adults with sensitive stomachs or Organic 2012  for adults plus a refrigerated therapeutic strength formula together), a vitamin c, zinc and bioflavanoid rich powder and manuka honey. (go to our store to purchase Super Kids Food or Organic 2012)


2.  Pureed casseroles, broths and soups that have been cooked with bones (later removed) - the marrow in the bones is highly immune supportive and packed with proteins that help the rebuilding process.   Using culinary herbs and spices like turmeric, ginger, garlic, oregano, thyme, rosemary and a parsley are a very wise move as they provide anti inflammatory, cleansing, anti bacterial and anti viral activity from a dietary source.

3.  Stewed fruits laced with probiotics and a half serve of protein powder - to provide a carbohydrate source to help the bowels move along (most pain medications combined with immobility create constipation in the patient).  I always add clove (highly anti bacterial/viral and fungal) and cinnamon (anti inflammatory) to the fruits when they are cooking. They add a lovely aroma as well which is soothing to the patient.

4.  Plenty of clear fluids - water, cooled herbal teas such as ginger (anti inflammatory), dandelion (liver and kidney cleansing), lemon and water (cleansing and alkalising), peppermint (gut calming), chamomile (gut and nerve calming). The ability for saline and glucose drips to be removed depend on the patient's hydration capabilities orally.  Electrolyte formulae (I use Endura) are also highly recommended too as the body uses a load of these up during the surgery and most definitely afterwards as well. Consider surgery as a kind of laying down marathon race for the body when it comes to recovery.

5.  Vegetable juices freshly squeezed/extracted with ginger and if possible fresh turmeric root and protein powder. These can be very healing, easy to digest and fast acting. The main reason soft foods and fluid based meals are recommended is to help the colon stay on the move and flush medications through  once they have done their job - even if you can have solids, some of the easier to absorb nutrients for healing are found in these liquid meals.

Homeopathic prescribing for pain and infection support can be very useful and aid in a fast return to normal health with the least discomfort.  Depending on your type of surgical procedure, these would be best recommended prior to admission and on consultation with further in hospital follow up and review.

Remember - having an operation is invasive enough for the body and if you cannot avoid having surgery to recover your health, you best go in as prepared as possible to achieve a gold star performance at the finish line. The sooner you are back in your own bed, without being woken by beeping machines and nurses doing observations on your status - the better!



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