T Nation

Fishy Oils and Proper Nutrition Pre-Surgery

I’m referencing a post from a previous Annex post and a Dog Pound post by jaytruly (2003-01-08) and the most recent Fish Oil and Bloodclotting post…

jay asked a general question (for me) about suggestions for specific ways to use nutrition to better prepare for surgery and to bolster post-op recovery… (thanks all! got some great responses and suggestions)… now that I’m a T-vixen my-damn-self, while reading this Fish Oil/Bloodclotting connection, I have another question. Obviously, eating Fish Oil pre-op is not such a great idea in regards to stitching up wounds and stuff, but if I AM taking it, how much time prior to surgery should I stop? And as a corollary to that, what if I’m eating a crap load of fish? Will that effect my clotting ability? and if so, then same question: how much time prior to surgery should I stop eating it? Right now, I’m trying to be in peak physical condition for surgery (some months away, depending on my health), so I’m eating a whole hell of a lot of tuna and salmon (which I love) and was considering adding fish oil to my diet. Should I eliminate it now?

one luv.


Don’t fret just ease up a little 10 days before the op. Make sure you are not taking any fat burners, asprin and so forth either up to ten days before the op and you’ll be sound as a pound !

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.

Wouldn’t think it will make much of a difference regarding clotting function etc. As long as the surgeon’s competent, then hemostasis will be performed quickly. However if you’re worried stop the fish oil around a week before should give you plenty time. The suggestions of lots of quality protein (esp Glutamine) is a very good idea- has shown to be very beneficial w burn victims who need efficient skin healing. Also anti-oxidants are a must. Using a multi-tablet of vitamins and antioxidant factors should cover it. Good luck. SRS