Sunday, April 17, 2016

A simple way to optimize recovery after surgery

Will you be having surgery?  Whether for a medical problem or for cosmetic reasons,  of course you hope for a quick and easy recovery!  Did you know that your nutritional status may play an important role in your post-operative recovery?

Poor nutrition, obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases can have a significant impact on surgical outcome and complications.   Deficiency of single nutrients can result in altered immune responses, even when the deficiency state is relatively mild!

Malabsorption of nutrients can result from a host of conditions, including:
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Celiac disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis
  • Intestinal parasites and other infections

I commonly find nutritional deficiencies in my patients, even without any of the above medical problems.  

Do you have bloating, gas, indigestion, heartburn, constipation or diarrhea?  These are clues to digestive dysfunction.  If your digestive tract is not functioning optimally, you may not be optimally digesting and absorbing the nutrients in your food.   

Some very common causes of insufficient nutrient status include:
  • poor dietary habits
  • food allergies and intolerances, such as gluten
  • low stomach acid (common in people over 50)
  • pancreatic insufficiency
  • leaky gut
  • imbalances in the gut microflora
  • toxic burden
  • Bile salt deficiency, especially after gall bladder removal

Even if your GI tract health seems to be fine, the food available to us no longer contains as many nutrients as in the past due to processing and modern farming practices, and most americans have one or more nutrient deficiencies.

According to the NIH, the prevalence of digestive disorders known to cause an absorption deficiency is approximately 1 in 4 of the American population,

Malnutrition is associated with increased incidence of surgical complications and mortalityActa Chir Scand. 1988 Apr;154(4):249‐51

Nutrition deficiencies impede the normal processes that allow progression through stages of wound healing.  Malnourished patients are at higher risk than well nourished patients for:
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Inflammation and bruising 
  • Infection

Nutrition in Clinical Practice, Vol. 25, No. 1 (2010)

A Solution - Nutritional IVs
By carefully administering a blend of nutrients essential to a speedy and healthy recovery, we can effectively reduce the number of surgical complications you may face.  Oral nutrition alone is not sufficient;  intravenous nutrition offers better bioavailability of nutrients for your metabolic needs.

Wound healing involves the deconstruction and restructuring of tissue and blood vessels.  If the raw ingredients and requisite energy stores to support this process aren’t available then an ordinarily straightforward process becomes hampered.

Here are some studies that showed postoperative complications are reduced with peri-operative nutrition:

1.  IV Nutritional supplementation in the period before and after surgery can have a significant impact on surgical outcome by:
  • reducing bruising, swelling, and inflammation
  • promoting wound healing
  • enhancing immunity
  • reducing oxidation generated by surgery and anesthetic agents

Aesthetic Surgery Journal Vol. 24, Issue 4, July‐August 2004

2.  A marked improvement in wound healing response has been shown in most surgical patients receiving postoperative nutritional careBritish Journal of Surgery Volume 74 Issue 4, 8 Dec 2005

3.  Early nutrition therapy given to patients after surgery results in an important reduction in infectious complications.  Gut 1996;39:833‐835 58

Peri-operative IV nutrition offers a safeguard from the postoperative complications of insufficient nutrient status.   By direct and targeted delivery of a proven blend of vitamins and antioxidants to replenish cellular energy stores, we can help improve your odds for a healthy and rapid recovery.

If you have an elective surgery planned, and are interested in knowing more about whether Nutritional IVs may be beneficial for you, please contact us at or call 704-752-9346.  Please visit our website

Yours in Health


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