A popular question that I get asked a lot is what are some of the best ways to prepare prior to surgery. I am a big believer in my patients being proactive and what we eat before undergoing any sort of procedure can play a role in the recovery process.

It’s always important to eat healthy, especially when it’s leading up to any kind of surgery. When it comes to plastic surgery, there are certain vitamins and minerals that can be consumed to reduce swelling and bruising. It’s important to note that it won’t alleviate all the swelling and bruising but it certainly helps and makes you feel much better.

Some foods to focus on are green leafy vegetables, like kale, spinach and mustard greens. Leafy greens have an abundance of vitamin K, which helps with proper blood coagulation and prevents excessive bleeding.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K also plays a big role in how you bruise and if your body isn’t getting enough vitamin K then you tend to bruise easier.

Arnica Montana

Arnica Montana, is also a great way to holistically reduce bruising. This herb not only combats bruising but also muscle soreness, so depending on the procedure some muscle soreness can occur and this herb will aid in preventing muscle aches as well.

Pineapple And Papaya

When it comes to swelling and inflammation, stock up on some pineapple and papaya. Both fruits are loaded with protease enzymes, these enzymes called bromelain and quercetin are crucial when it comes to reducing swelling and puffiness. In the weeks leading up to your procedure be sure to consume lots of these fruits.


Turmeric has gained notoriety as one of the most powerful herbs because of its anti-inflammatory properties. A compound in Turmeric called Curcumin, is what gives the herb its power and several studies have shown that aspirin and ibuprofen have nothing on this all natural remedy.

In addition to making a conscious effort to incorporate these foods, it’s important to drink plenty of water leading up to surgery and after. This will help flush your system and keep you hydrated.

If you are looking for a way to combine some of these foods below is a smoothie recipe, compliments of The Nikolov Center for Plastic Surgery. Enjoy!

Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie:

  • 2 cups of kale or spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup of frozen pineapple or papaya
  • 1 tablespoon on honey
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 3 cups of water or add more for you desired consistency and blend!

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