When you put the words “diet” and “cosmetic surgery” together, there are a few things that come to mind – weight loss, bariatric surgery, liposuction, tummy tuck and body lift.

But seldom do we meld these two terms together to mean how diet, in the context of nutrition, affects a cosmetic surgery procedure. We always read and hear from doctors and health experts how certain vitamins can work wonders for a speedy recovery after a cosmetic surgery. Similarly, your diet plays a big part in ensuring that you undergo a cosmetic procedure with less complications and a fast and healthy recovery.

In essence, the food that you eat before and after a cosmetic surgery will ultimately determine how well you will heal. Sure, you can load up on the vitamin supplementation. But when you feed yourself with the wrong types of food, you might not get the most of out your vitamin supplementation intake or might even be brought to naught. So, good nutrition is extremely important. It helps in expediting wound healing, reduces the risk of infection and scarring and increases great results. That is why cosmetic surgery, whether as minor as a double eyelid surgery or a highly invasive breast augmentation, the demand for optimum nutrition is required through a rich diet, which should be complemented with vitamins.

To help you out, here is a general cosmetic surgery food guide to ensure that you recover and heal in the healthiest and fastest way, and achieve an ideal result.

Go For Healthy Fats

We all know this health dogma: eliminate unhealthy fat intake and increase on the healthy oils. Certainly, margarine, chips and anything deep-fried in trans-fat laden hydrogenated or vegetable oil are tempting. But the health benefits are definitely close to zero.

That is why it is suggested that the healthier monounsaturated fats should be added to your diet. Excellent sources include extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, flaxseed oil, avocado and berries. Its anti-inflammatory property is helpful in reducing postoperative swelling, bruising and pain. Apart from this benefit, monounsaturated fats has been known to help in healthy weight loss, which is a great incentive and complement to any cosmetic, as well as being linked to fostering a healthy heart, making you enjoy the results for a longer time. Switching from bad fats to good fats is definitely a wise choice to make.

Load Up on Fruits and Vegetables

Now this is an obvious nutrition must have, moreso especially when you will undergo a cosmetic surgery. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals that are need for healthy and speedy recovery. Most notably, a majority of these greens and bright natural sweets are rich in Vitamin C, a nutrient that is necessary and recommended for patients during the entire cosmetic surgery process – from preoperative preparation to postoperative healing. Some are even packed with a number of essential vitamins, like Vitamin A, E and B complex, making them into one fully loaded multivitamin food source.

Similarly, most fruits and vegetables also contain anti-inflammatory properties. Also, they promote healthy cell turnover and even rejuvenates the skin, making them more ideal for those who just had facial cosmetic surgery, whether from a double eyelid surgery or facelift.

Go Lean with Protein

Protein is an integral nutrient for cosmetic surgery healing. It is needed in tissue repair, blood vessel formation and collagen production. We all know that meat is a great source of protein. But always go for lean meat. However, it is best to choose lean meat from chicken and reduce red meat. Other good protein sources are nuts, eggs and soya products.

However, take note that over chewing may be inadvisable for some cosmetic surgery procedures. As an alternative, soups or smoothies containing protein food sources may be taken. It is best to consume the required amount of protein per day. A Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of protein is 0.8 kilogram per kilogram of lean body weight.

Low Fiber Diet


Generally, a high fiber food is healthy and highly ideal for your body.

However, when undergoing a cosmetic surgery, you will be advised to be in a low fiber, low residue diet a day prior to the procedure. A low fiber diet reduces the amount of waste that goes around your intestines and helps you clear out your bowels before surgery.

It is advised that you avoid whole-wheat pasta, wholegrain bread, beans, nuts and lentils. The Hospital for Special Surgery in the US provides a great resource on the food items that is recommended and not recommended according to specific food groups. Recommended low fiber food items include plain yogurt, white bread, fruit juice without pulp, vegetable juice and plain crackers, among others. You should be reminded that low fiber low residue diet is not nutritionally complete and is intended for short duration use.

Fish Feeding

Apart from chicken and lean meat, consuming fish rich in omega-3 fatty acid is suggested for those who are undergoing cosmetic surgery. Omega-3 fatty acid has been linked to improve surgical recovery, as it helps reduce inflammation, which promotes better wound healing. Excellent sources include salmon, sardines, mackerel, as well as oysters.

Fluids, Fluids, Fluids

One may not see it as a dietary need, but nourishing your body with enough fluid is essential. And what better choice is there than water. The very fact that 70% of our body is water is enough reason that you should replenish it by drinking at least 64 ounces of water per day. However, if you want to indulge and put flavor into your fluid needs, you can have fruit juices, tea, coffee, milk or even a glass of wine per day as healthy alternatives.

However, on the night prior to your surgery, you be advised to only drink  beverages that are clear. These include water, coffee, apple juice and clear broth. It is recommended that you avoid milk and fruit juices.

Also take note that as a rule, you are to avoid alcoholic drinks 1 to 2 months prior and after a cosmetic surgery procedure.

Tricky Business

Diet for a cosmetic surgery can be a bit tricky thing. Some food items that are recommended postoperatively may be advised to be avoided preoperatively. Such as with the case of milk as an excellent protein source, but not recommended the night prior to surgery.

That is why it is important that apart from discussing your realistic expectations with your doctor, you also lay down the cards in terms of your diet choices. A good cosmetic surgeon will include this during the consultation phase together with your medical history. Also, do not be hesitant to ask your doctor on what food to eat and what to avoid prior and after your cosmetic surgery to promote a safe procedure and speedy recovery.

Diet is an integral component when getting a cosmetic surgery and one that should be taken with great consideration.

Dr. Andrew Kim of Advance Cosmetic Beauty Surgery will incorporate this component into your consultation for double eyelid surgery and rhinoplasty.