How can nutrition help recovery from surgery?

It is estimated that more than 230 million major surgical procedures are undertaken every year worldwide.1 With modern techniques, trauma can be kept to a minimum. Still, the patient’s body has to recover: through a variety of responses, it mobilises its existing resources to initiate the healing process. Nutrition, by providing protein and energy, can accelerate recovery, for many reasons.2

Before surgery takes place, appropriate nutrition can assist a better outcome. Clinical studies have proven that supplementing the diet with certain nutrients can improve the body’s responses and may reduce post-operative complications, even when the patient is considered well nourished.3

Depending on the procedure, the medical team might also decide to put patients on a specialised nutritional solution to enhance their immune system, with the potential for shorter hospital stays.4

80% of physicians agree that appropriate nutritional status reduces post-operative complications5

Post-op, nutrition is essential to get patients back to their normal lives as soon as possible. Whether they can eat on their own or need to be fed with the assistance of a tube, the early delivery of the nutrients required by the body is important for recovery.4


  1. Weiser TG et al. Lancet. 2008; 372(9633); 139–44.
  2. Ljungqvist O et al. Eur e-Journal of Clin Nut and Met. 2010; e93–6.
  3. Windsor A et al. Surgeon. 2004; 2(6): 315–19.
  4. Martindale RG et al. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2013; 37(5 Suppl); 5S–20S.
  5. Lawson CM et al. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2013; 37(5 Suppl); 30S–8S.
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