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Post-operative Dietary and Nutritional Needs 2014.06.18 ♥ ─── Nutritionist 張佩蓉


【Post-operative Dietary and Nutritional Needs】

Undergoing an operation can be a trying experience physically and mentally. On such occasions a patient’s resistance to illness and disease is relatively low, so failing to recuperate properly can easily lead to other problems or complications. The intake of nutrients after an operation is extremely important because receiving the correct nutrients in the right volume can help a patient return to full health more quickly

In general terms, wounds are an inevitable result of operations, whether deep tissue or wounds or epidermal incisions. In such situation, the primary objective is for the wound to heal as quickly as possible, thereby minimizing any physical pressure. The next goal is to ensure one’s immune system is working properly to combat any internal inflammation, external pathogens and prevent deterioration in the patient’s condition.



Facilitating Tissue Repair

It is well known that the basic raw material of synthetic body tissue is protein, which means that post-operative protein supplementation is particularly important. As such, patients should choose foodstuffs that have a high biological value such as eggs, milk, fish, poultry, lean meat, soy beans etc. These not only provide the body with essential amino acids, they also have a better rate of absorption. However, it should also be noted that at the same time as supplementing protein these foods are also high in calories as that is the only way to ensure the smooth synthesis of the proteins.

Certain nutrients are indispensible in aiding the repair of tissue including vitamin groups A, B and C. These are all closely connected to the epithelial cells of the skin, collagen synthesis and protein metabolism. Minerals such as zinc, iron and potassium play an important role in the healing of wounds, hemoglobin synthesis (血球合成) and the immune system. Certain research has shown that other nutrients, such as arginine and Omega-3 fatty acids are also beneficial to post-operative recovery and immunity modulation. In light of this determination, patients recovering from operations are advised to adhere to a balanced diet when recuperating, but to also choose foods that contain high levels of these nutrients, including birds’ nests, bass, fruit and vegetables.


The Best Post-operative Nutritional Supplement – Birds Nests

The Compendium of Materia Medica records: “Birds’ nests are an excellent medicine for dealing with fatigue,” recognizing its benefits in replenishing vital energy. Birds’ nests are rich in protein, carbohydrates and micro nutrients, including calcium, phosphorous, iron, sodium and potassium, that aid regulation of physiological functions, as well as other nutrients. A birds’ nest contains more than 50% calcium and a large volume of bioactive protein molecules, which can be used as a source of raw material for post-operative tissue repair. Add to that the accelerative impact of epidermal growth factor in birds’ nests on tissue repair and reconstruction, while carbohydrates provide the body with calories. Birds’ nests also have numerous amino acids which play an important role in regulating the immune system.


※Please remember that there are numerous types of operations and the recuperative periods from different operations are likely to have their own nutritional requirements. Points of consideration also differ on a case by case basis, which is to say that the aforementioned advice on post-operative nutritional intake is intended to serve as a general guide. For special operations, such as digestive tract surgery, a trained physician or professional nutritionists should be consulted before any decisions are made.