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Preparing for Surgery?

Give your body the support it needs.

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Preparing for Surgery?

Sooner or later most of us are likely to undergo some sort of surgical procedure. Natural medicines should be a part of your treatment, no matter how minor or extensive the surgery is.

Sooner or later most of us are likely to undergo some sort of surgical procedure. Natural medicines should be a part of your treatment, no matter how minor or extensive the surgery is.

In particular, it is important to achieve high nutrient status prior to and after surgery, especially if it is a major surgery, as these procedures impose extreme physical demands. Your body will need to create new tissue and blood vessels, repair damaged tissue and manufacture extra cells needed to heal the wound, fight infection and control inflammation. If you are lacking any essential nutrient necessary for creating these cells and regulating these healing systems, your recovery will take longer and you’re more likely to experience complications.

It is essential that you notify your physician and other caregivers about all nutritional supplements and herbal products you’re using. Even something as simple as vitamin E may cause a problem during surgery. Specifically, vitamin E at doses above 200 IU per day may increase your risk of bleeding. Other natural products that might increase the risk of bleeding during surgery and should be discontinued beforehand include fish oils, garlic, ginkgo and ginseng. In addition, it’s wise to discontinue some herbs that may increase or interfere with the effects of anesthesia such as kava, St. John’s wort or valerian. These recommendations are based more on theoretical concerns than actual case reports or clinical trials. Still, discontinuing their use prior to surgery is a prudent precaution.

Pre-Surgical Recommendations

For at least two weeks prior to surgery, it would be ideal to take:

  • a high-potency multiple vitamin and mineral (note: keep vitamin E doses below 200 IU per day
  • vitamin C: 250 to 500 milligrams three times daily
  • grapeseed extract: 100 to 150 mg twice daily
  • gotu kola (Centella asiatica) extract: dosage is based upon triterpenic acid content of 30 to 60 mg twice daily. Read labels carefully to make sure you are getting the proper dosage.
  • a friendly bacteria probiotic supplement: 5 to 10 billion live organisms daily
  • whey protein: 25 to 30 grams per day

Post-Surgical Recommendations

After surgery is complete, it is very important to promote healing while simultaneously reducing the formation of excessive scar tissue or adhesion. For at least two weeks after surgery, take the following:

  • a high-potency multiple vitamin and mineral (continue keeping vitamin E level below 200 IU per day)
  • vitamin C: 250 to 500 mg three times daily
  • grapeseed extract: 100 to 150 mg twice daily
  • proteolytic enzyme formula: one or two tablets three times daily on an empty stomach
  • gotu kola (Centella asiatica) extract: dosage is based upon triterpenic acid content of 30 to 60 mg twice daily. Read labels carefully to make sure you are getting the proper dosage.
  • a friendly bacteria probiotic supplement: 10 to 20 billion live organisms daily
  • whey protein: 25 to 30 grams per day

If you require surgery for healing, making sure your body has the tools it needs prior to, during, and afterward should be a primary goal to give yourself the best chance of success and a speedy recovery.

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