Nutritional Therapy Before and After Surgery
Nutritional therapy can be very important for some cases. Some patients' tissues just didn't react in the usual way, and sometimes I suspect there is some deficiency. For example, if your breasts sagged down almost immediately after breast surgery, or there is an area of skin death, or there was an early infection or poor wound healing, some sort of nutritional or other tissue problem may be present. Current or past smoking is the most common problem for wound healing of course, and habitual alcohol use is also thought to impair wound healing, even if it's in the past. I have worked with other physicians' patients wound healing problems. Many times using the below therapy we can see wounds that had been present for months clean up and improve in just a few weeks.
Nutritional therapy and proper healing make your tissues tougher. We could test for deficiencies but it's far cheaper and easier to just buy the supplements and take them: they do no harm. This article does not represent a comprehensive list of possibilities for deficiencies, but it's a good place to start.
Protein deficiency is the most common culprit in poor wound healing, after smoking. So use whey or egg white protein (Trader Joe's has it) a scoop three times a day in addition to your ordinary diet. The scooper is in the can. I like GNC non-flavored "Designer" brand also.
Other common problems are zinc and magnesium deficiencies. You can take 50 mg of zinc and 500 mg of magnesium once a day. Magnesium deficiency is VERY common. Please take 5000 units of Vitamin D daily (this is much more than the usual recommendation but Vitamin D problems are very common). A multivitamin packet or pill with minerals is often helpful. Take one packet a day. And low vitamin C is frequently implicated in wound healing problems, take 1000 mg to 2000 mg a day at least. B12/Folic acid probably isn't the problem but try these. Your doctor can give you a B12 shot, and test for B12 problems. Over the counter doses are found at vitamin stores and Trader Joes. Fish oil, (omega 3 fatty acids): take 5 (1 gram) pills a day with food or one teaspoon daily (Carlson laboratories or Eskimo brand fish oil are very good, you can buy this on the internet). And Co Q10 one or two hundred milligrams a day is very helpful. If you want to try something else that may help (I like it but there's little science behind it) go on wheatgrass.com and buy some wheat grass and take 5 tablets twice a day. Dr. Yoho takes this himself.
AND for most women, it wouldn't do any harm to take a little iron. It's iron sulfate 300 mg a day. With food. This can be checked in your blood work. We can give iron intravenously if it's low and you get more rapid effects. If iron is given IV taking it orally won't help for weeks, as the intravenous iron is working. Low iron can mean blood loss, and this might be through the colon, and colon cancer is the second most common cancer. So if you have a low iron, this should be investigated by your primary care physician and possibly an gastroenterologist.
For wound healing problems we frequently keep patients on antibiotics, and sometimes culture the wounds to see what bacteria are there "colonizing" the wound. This often isn't a frank infection, but there are bacteria in there.
It may take several months to make yourself nutritionally fit for surgery or proper recovery if there is some problem. Eating well is of course important also. We can give you intravenous vitamin supplementation 2 x per week for the two weeks before surgery if you want and we think it's indicated.
Special wound dressings can be important too, and there are antiseptic solutions that can be used when indicated.
NOTE: if you have any health problems, now or in the past, this can influence wound healing for the worse. BE SURE to discuss ALL of your health history, no matter how insignificant you think it is, with the doctor.