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Whilst we often, as surgeons, focus on the technical aspects and perfecting our art, there is evidence to show that patient factors can have profound impacts on the rate of recovery and other potential complications. Medical comorbidities such as auto-immune disorders, and diabetes are known risk factors for wound healing and infection risk, however in those who may not have major medical conditions, should we be looking at other aspects of diet to help with the recovery. Many patients who have absorption difficulties of certain foods, may benefit from supplementation, in addition to those who might have nausea after surgery and are unable to eat. 

How much protein should I be taking?

As a general rule, 1g per KG is the minimum that an adult should be consuming around surgery, as it gives the body enough protein to use as building blocks for wound healing, as well as supporting the body in its time of “stress”. Remember that foods high in protein, are in general only about 25% composed of protein, meaning that a 400g piece of chicken breast may yield approximately 100g of protein. Eating all the protein you require daily, in one meal, may further lessen the full amount of protein absorbed. Dividing the protein into smaller portions throughout the day is recommended.

What benefit does Vit C have post operatively

Vit C is abundant in fruits, like grapefruits, oranges, apples etc. It supports wound healing, and reduces the risks of abnormal scar tissue formation, as well as the potential development of a rare, but serious condition called chronic regional pain syndrome. We recommend that people are ingesting a minimum of 500mg of Vit C per day, and more, if there are dietary concerns. If there are concerns, consulting with a dietitian is recommended. 

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