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British Heart Foundation
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Preparing for surgery - supplements and vitamins?

On the the topic of being best prepared for surgery, what have forum members added to their diet to ensure best chances of a speedy recovery? I've read occasional references to iron and vitamin c and the importance of a healthy diet but what is the view and/or experience pre-surgery supplements ?

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I went down the root of taking stuff out of my diet rather than adding supplements to it on the basis that it was better to take out cake, biscuits and the like and replace it with fruit, veg etc. So a healthy diet for my vitamin needs rather than more pills.

Now nearing 5 months post CABG and I'm still trying to keep doing that but I do add the odd bit of homemade cake these days - got to have some treats :-)

Steve

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Good point, Steve. I'm a bit of a sugar junkie so a rein back on cake would have obvious benefits. But sometimes a cup of tea is just too wet without it! Hope that at 5 months post-CABG you are beginning to to enjoy the benefits as the pain and discomfort has largely subsided?

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Hi there,

A good all round multi vitamin both before and after surgery. Water, plenty of it if you are allowed. Once the wound has started to heal make sure you massage it both in the shower and post shower. Post shower introduce a moisturiser, I use rosehip oil, others use bio oil.

I saw a dietitian in hospital post op who gave me a good tip for cake and biscuits, 'go out to a coffee shop once in a while, have a piece of cake with your coffee, if you go and buy that whole cake for home, you'll eat it'

good luck with the surgery

Mark

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Sound advice, Mark. If it ain't in the house, you cannot cake graze! Good diet and a multivit seems a good belt and braces approach. Surgery just 6 weeks away now, so thank you for your good wishes

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Best of luck Ian. Clare

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Good advice!

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Overall a healthy balanced diet should be enough. However, I have been told I am slightly anaemic and to try and raise my iron levels (helps transport oxygen through the bloodstream) but to avoid iron tablets. I also take Vitamin C by choice. There seems to be a link between inflamed arteries (think scurvy) and plaque deposits. Reaction has been varied from "it can't do any harm" to "interesting, I need to look into this". Do reduce sugar and salt (there was something on the news about the salt in Chinese food this morning). If you can two portions of oily fish a week would be good.

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Think I've now got most of the bases covered on the nutrition front, so thank you for your contribution. Using an Omega 3,6&9 fish oil supplement which I hope covers the oily fish plus a multi vit. Considering an iron supplement to make sure levels are topped up. Oh and D3 for a winter morale boost! I'll not start on the prescription stuff. Enough is enough!

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I like oily fish so no fishy tablets for me :) Do ask your GP before taking an iron supplement as it all depends on the results of the FBC (full blood count) test which will be done automatically in the run up to surgery. Excess iron can cause issues.

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Thanks - logical to ask at the pre op appointment. Better start making a todo list

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Hi Ian, if you want to see just how a good diet can transform a person's body (health wise primarily, but for weight loss too), have a watch of the documentary Forks Over Knives. It's absolutely fascinating how the food you eat can reverse illness, and improve recovery time from exercise, and presumably surgery too. I found that my training (running, mainly) improved massively and recovery time decreased in January as I spent the month focussing heavily on my diet.

I like the outsourced cake idea too - go out for a treat cuppa and cake, away from your house, so it feels like an event that you have to make the effort for, rather than an easy homebound regular occurance.

Good luck with your surgery, if that's happening soon!

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Hi Ian, I am having my aortic valve replaced soon and this is the protocol I'm following drsinatra.com/maximizing-th...

Hope it helps and good luck!

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