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  • Writer's pictureDr. Mordeana Williams

IV Therapy Benefits Before and After Surgery

The need for IV nutritional therapy before & after surgery

Optimal nutrition decreases the time your wounds would take to heal after surgery, while inadequate nutrition increases wound healing time, leaving surgical patients more susceptible to after surgery complications. IV nutritional supplementation before and after surgery helps to give a better surgical outcome. The chance for complications increases when there are other medical conditions such as diabetes, overweight, hypertension and poor circulation prior to surgery. Persons with these issues are likely to have surgery-related complications such as infection and poor wound healing.

Most diets are high in calories and low in essential minerals and vitamins. We are known to be an overfed but malnourished population. More than 70% of American adults do not get even two-thirds of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). The Standard American Diet (SAD) is notably poor in the consumption of fruits and vegetables – foods with high micronutrient density.

Most of our meals, loaded with packaged, processed, nutrient-poor foods, contribute to nutrient deficiencies that result in a shortage of micronutrients and antioxidants – particularly important to surgical patients undergoing anesthesia, trauma, and wound healing. Deficiency in micronutrients such as zinc, selenium, vitamin B6 and Vitamin D (to name a few) have a negative influence on the immune response.

How it works?

IV supplementation before surgery can have a significant and measurable effect on your surgical outcome by favorably affecting 4 primary mechanisms:

1. Reduction of oxidation generated by surgery and anesthetic agents,

2. Enhancement of immunity,

3. Reduction of bruising, swelling, and inflammation and

4. Promotion of wound healing.

Antioxidants can deactivate unstable free radicals resulting from trauma or surgery, thereby playing an important role in the prevention of further damage. Vitamins, minerals and nutrients such as carotenoids, vitamin A and C, selenium, bioflavonoids and glutathione act as antioxidants. Specific amino acids are needed for tissue building and increase healing. Specific nutrients stimulate anabolic (“building”) hormones and reduce catabolic (“breaking down”) hormones. Zinc, selenium, vitamin B6 & D and other nutrients mobilize and improve immune function while decreasing inflammation.

This is important because during surgery it has been documented that the blood and tissue levels of nutrients decrease while the body’s requirement for them increases. Prior to surgery one is often told to fast or have nothing to eat after midnight which can be up to 12 hours before surgery) – so you are nutrient depleting an already nutrient deficient body and brain. In addition, in an effort to prevent bleeding you are also told to stop all vitamins such as Vitamin E and other supplements 2 weeks before surgery. This makes you even more nutritionally compromised.

Does this apply to you?

Persons with plans for Weight Loss Surgery such as Gastric Band, Gastric Bypass and Sleeve Gastrectomy most likely have diet that are high in macronutrients and low in micronutrients. Foods that support healing.

Persons with plans for Cosmetic Procedure such as Botox, facial peels, Skin rejuvenation/resurfacing, chemical peels, hair implant, vaginal rejuvenation, dermabrasion, liposuction, fat transplant for cosmetic purposes wants the best healing and least scarring.

In the case of Gastrointestinal Surgery such as Dental, Throat, Laryngeal, Esophageal, Intestinal, Liver, Pancreas, gallbladder or rectal surgery, some Vitamins and minerals are very important because you are likely to have poor digestion and absorption from your gastrointestinal tract after surgery.

In Major Surgery that includes Abdominal, Brain, Heart, Orthopedic, GYN, Lung, Back and Prostate that have longer recovery time, you are less likely to eat as well because of pain. After these types of surgeries, one would likely experience decreased appetite, limited activity and poor intake, limited food choices that could lead to adequate nutritional intake.

Cancer Surgery – high-level nutrition is one of the main Functional Medicine treatments for cancer. Fighting cancer is best done with high-level nutritional support of the immune system. Surgery taxes your immune system nutritionally even further while it is already hard at work fighting your cancer.

No matter where on your body the surgery is done you would want quicker healing time to get back to your life sooner with fewer complications that could lead to more expense or debilitation or even life-threatening illness.

Other planned injections such as joint, laparoscopic, small incision, tattoos also require healing as the needle injures the dermis in the skin while impregnating it with ink. Your tattoo will heal much more quickly with less pain and less chance of scar, keloid formation or possible infection.

Injury/Trauma/Burns – IV nutrient supplementation is very important in these situations. Whenever you experience bodily injury, trauma or burns – inflammation, oxidative stress and physical/emotional/mental stress all skyrocket and your immune system is mobilized to deal with it. This takes a tremendous amount of work and energy. With each biochemical reaction your nutritional needs increase drastically.

IV Vitamins and minerals pre- and post-operative nutrition is the solution to optimal perioperative nutrition and can decrease bruising, swelling, inflammation, pain, scarring, and infection rates. It will also significantly improve wound healing and recovery time. If you have plans for any type of surgery, you owe it to yourself to get IV nutritional supplementation.

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