Photo Credit: glisodin.com
By Wendy Lewis
Selecting a top doctor, deciding what to have done, scheduling the big day, and making the necessary arrangements for a comfortable recovery from plastic surgery, consume much of a patient’s time and mental energy prior to a cosmetic surgical procedure. The seemingly smaller details can prove just as important when it comes to being prepared. Patients should not overlook steps they can take leading up to their surgery, and in the days and weeks following, to improve healing and decrease down-time.
Patients who are in top physical form tend to heal faster than those who are not. Manhattan plastic surgeon Dr. David Shafer (www.shaferplasticsurgery.com) recommends vitamin therapy to his patients as part of a comprehensive plan to bolster overall health and leave them in the best possible shape before and after they go under the knife. “Good genetics, not smoking, and a regular exercise regimen prior to surgery play a big role in wound healing,” Dr. Shafer says.
“As a baseline, I encourage patients to adopt healthy nutritional habits.” While good genes are unfortunately not a controllable factor, they are not the sole determinant of how quickly or how well a patient will recover after a cosmetic surgical procedure.
§ GliSODin®, which contains superoxide dismutase, is an antioxidant that shields the body from cellular damage caused by free radicals. It helps to defend against swelling and inflammation, further recovery, and bolster immune protection.
§ Among the benefits of vitamin C are its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It also plays a role in the body’s ability to regenerate collagen, the protein that is essential for wound healing.
Following surgery, discoloration can be managed with the anti-bruising staple Arnica Montana, available in capsule form in a product like Sinecch®, as well as topical gels and creams for after surgery. Healing supplement programs like Make Me Heal Plastic Surgery Supplements & Vitamins Program and Vitamedica, nutritional supplements that contain bromelain and arnica, can also be taken to minimize inflammation and bruising. For a natural dose of bromelain, patients can add grapefruit to their diet.
Post plastic surgery vitamins and supplements are not meant to replace antibiotics, which your doctor may prescribe, depending on your medical history and the nature of your surgery. Dr. Shafer provides pre- and post-surgery instructions to his patients which includes a list of vitamins, supplements and prescriptions that should be taken, and those that should be discontinued. Certain supplements cannot be taken prior to surgery, as they have the potential to interact negatively with anesthesia and pain relievers. They can also lead to increased bleeding, bruising and delayed healing. The off-limit list may include: Bilberry, Dong Kwai, Echinacea, Ephedra, Feverfew, Garlic, Gingko Biloba, Ginseng, Mah Huang, Meadowsweet, St Johns Wort, Turmeric, Vitamin E, Willow, for starters.
“It is extremely important to be candid with your doctor and to follow instructions as indicated. Your doctor will have your best interests in mind,” says Dr. Shafer. A small detail that seems insignificant to you may be of paramount importance to the surgeon holding the knife.