How Nutrition Plays a Key Role in Your Recovery After Surgery

Today, leading post-hospital rehabilitation centers such as Saunders House combine a variety of treatment options and strategies to ensure that patients experience a full and speedy recovery after their surgery and subsequent discharge from the hospital. These options include overall medical management; physical, occupational and recreational therapies; medication management and diagnostic technologies to assess patients’ progress.

However, there is another very important factor that contributes to a complete recovery that many people don’t think about – diet and nutrition. Nutrition management is a vital ingredient in your rehabilitation process as it revitalizes the body and supports a healthy recovery.

The Fundamental Role of Nutrition in Your Post-Surgery Recovery

Surgery represents a significant event for your body, and a highly nutritious diet supports your recovery in several ways. Experts tell us that good nutrition can:

  • Help your incisions to heal
  • Help to replace blood loss
  • Help to repair your skin, nerves, blood vessels, muscles and bones
  • Provide you with the basic materials your immune system needs to protect you against infection
  • Increase your energy level

An Expert’s Perspective

In her article,Nutrition After Surgery: What You Need to Know for a Speedy Recovery, nutrition expert and award-winning author Tina Ruggiero, MS, RD, LD, says “If you’ve been an active, independent adult for most of your life, suddenly finding yourself a patient can be demoralizing and even depressing. Having worked with many clients in a post-operative setting, I know that rehabilitation and recovery is different for everyone; however, good nutrition after surgery can speed wound healing, improve immunity and ensure the best outcome.”

“It doesn’t matter if you’ve had a joint replaced, a hysterectomy or a bypass operation, the body requires extra nutrients to heal, so focusing on nutrition can mean the difference between bouncing back and a lengthy recovery.”

Ms. Ruggiero adds, “On average, a person can expect to lose five to ten percent of their total body weight after surgery. To infuse the body with calories and nutrition, consider protein first. Protein is needed to repair tissue, slow muscle catabolism and decrease the inflammatory phase. Post-operative protein requirements range from one and a half to two grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For elective surgery, the low end of the range is sufficient. For major surgery, the higher end of the spectrum is more appropriate.”

An Essential Part of the RenewALL Rehabilitation Program

At Saunders House, expert nutrition management is a central component of our RenewAll Short-Term & Medically Complex Care program that has been developed specifically to support successful recoveries and allow for safe returns home. Working in concert with our physicians, nurses and therapy specialists, our certified Dietary and Nutrition Specialists utilize the latest in evidence-based nutrition regimens to provide each patient with the best possible path to health and a full recovery.

An effectively designed and individualized program based on your health status and personal nutrition needs is essential to replenishing and strengthening your body. This is extremely important after surgery because nutrition deficiencies can affect the normal recovery process and reduce your chances for maximum recovery.

Beyond Good Nutrition – Exceptional Dining

At Saunders House, we also recognize that good tasting food has its own important place in the recovery experience. Because we know that enjoying delicious food is one of life’s greatest pleasures, one of our Registered Dietitians meets individually with each patient and resident to customize a nutritional plan, focusing on personal tastes and needs.

Here, meals are served in a beautifully appointed dining room where our trained servers take time to assist our patients and residents with daily menu choices. We have a proud reputation for fine cuisine and attention to service that provides all those we serve with an outstanding dining experience.

We’d Love to Hear Your Thoughts!

If you have comments or questions about our blog, we’d love to hear from you. We also encourage you to share any of your caregiving experiences with us. Please share your thoughts in our comments section.

Discover Our Healthy Tradition of Care and Wellness

Located adjacent to Lankenau Hospital, Saunders House – part of Main Line Senior Care Alliance – has a celebrated tradition of providing exceptional care and services to seniors and their families. It’s a tradition we’re proud to continue.

Today, Saunders House offers a range of services, including short-term rehabilitationtraditional nursing care, restorative carememory carerespite care and specialized care for individuals with visual impairments – all in a setting that is warm, welcoming and nurturing.

For more information on Saunders House, our Short-Term Rehabilitation program and other professional services, please call us today at (610) 658-5100 or contact us online.

Disclaimer: The articles and tip sheets on this website are offered by Saunders House/Bryn Mawr Terrace and Main Line Senior Care Alliance for general informational and educational purposes and do not constitute legal or medical advice. For legal or medical advice, please contact your attorney or physician.

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