Good luck on your surgery, Pearl. I think you got some good advice from Anna.
I’m sure you take in plenty of high-quality protein. That should be the foundation of what you do. Additionally, antioxidants should be high on your list. You want water-soluble and fat-soluble antioxidants, both. Vitamin C has a short half life, so if it doesn’t drive you crazy, I’d take in about a gram every couple of hours. With Vitamin C you know if you’re taking too much, i.e., you get diarrhea, at which point back off a bit. Vitamin C is also a necessary component of collagen.
So, to recap, I’d take in high-dose Vitamin C (for about a week after), up to point of bowel tolerance. I’d take in Vitamin E at 800 IU per day for about a week after. The only other antioxidant I’d recommend is alpha lipoic acid because it goes both ways (it’s fat and water soluble, both). I’d take ALA at the dosage recommended on the bottle 4 times a day.
The reason for taking antioxidants is that surgery causes a lot of pro-inflammatory chemicals to be released, along with a bunch of free radicals. Antioxidants will quench free radicals.
The other things I would look at are any of the anti-inflammatories. Take in your fish oil and omega 3s after surgery. It’s good that you’ve been taking them all along. Also bromelain and maybe even ginger tea.
To make ginger tea, grate a teaspoon of the fresh root, boil in one cup of water for 10 minutes (a LOW boil). Add milk and/or sweetner to taste. If it’s too hot, add a little more water. Ginger will also help with nausea.
Additionally, I’d look at taking a protease like papain. Proteases are protein enzymes. They help with digestion if taken with food. But if taken on an empty stomach, they help with protein turnover (i.e., repair) and inflammation.
I like the recommendations of glutamine, BCAAs, maybe some arginine. But honestly, whey protein would provide you with most of those amino acids. Just remember, quality protein, lots of it!
Last on the list? MSM. MSM is a type of highly bio-available sulfur (the most common element in the body). It will help reduce pain and inflmmation. It will help with repairs. Collagen is high in sulfur. Good stuff. Take a couple of grams 4 times a day, but not towards bed time, as you may have trouble sleeping.
Once again, Pearl, good luck. Any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.