Can Diet Help with Healing after Cosmetic Surgery?

According to a new study from Brazil, adding more fruits and veggies to your diet after cosmetic surgery may help the healing process. The researchers wanted to see if the additional intake of fruits and vegetables would result in a reduction of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation and infection.

Researchers asked 60 women (age 25-60) undergoing cosmetic abdominal surgery to eat six servings each of fruits and vegetables a day during the first month after surgery. According to the researchers, “fruits and vegetables are attractive tools for the combat of inflammation because of their rich endowment of anti-inflammatory vitamins.”

Participants started the diet three days post-surgery and continued it for four weeks afterward; participants were interviewed during the second and third week to rule out changes in dietary habits and to reinforce compliance with the diet.

The supplemented participants had more substantial fruit (5.2 vs. 3.9 servings, approximately) and vegetable (5.9 vs. 3.4 servings) consumption compared to the control group.

Results showed that C-reactive protein diminished in both groups, but a “more expressive decrease could be demonstrated for the high fruit and vegetable participants.”

The authors wrote that increasing servings of fruits and vegetables after surgery can be a feasible strategy to reduce C-reactive protein in adults. They recommended future studies that focus on additional inflammatory markers, different disease contexts and longer periods of supplementation and follow-up.

The study is available through Pubmed.

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Dr. Michael J. Will cosmetic surgeon Maryland received his bachelor’s degree from Washington and Jefferson College, his dental degree from Georgetown University and his medical degree from the University of Texas.

He completed his General Surgery and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery training at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Will also completed a General Cosmetic Surgery fellowship at the Cosmetic Surgery Center in Little Rock, Arkansas.

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