It’s easy to spend hours researching a cosmetic or elective procedure, reading doctor reviews, and going to consultations. All in the name of trying to get the best possible result.

One important area of preparation, however, is often overlooked. Your diet.

“A surgical procedure performed by a talented surgeon on a motivated patient may ultimately lead to a sub-optimal result, simply because the proper nutrients were not available during the early phases of healing,” writes Dr. Gregory Buford, a Denver plastic surgeon, in his book Eat, Drink, Heal: The Art and Science of Surgical Nutrition.

If you aren’t eating the right things, you’re hurting your ability to heal and your chance of the best results. No matter how talented your doctor is.

“It’s really important to know what you’re eating and the quality of the ingredients,” Dr. Buford told us. “Garbage in, garbage out.”


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The problem? You can easily spend a lot of time researching treatments and going to consultations and learn very little about the importance of nutrition. Dr. Buford said many plastic surgeons are poorly trained on surgical nutrition and “typically provide little to no nutritional guidance.”

Dr. Buford said it’s important for every patient to be aware of their lifestyle and make changes if needed. He recommends starting a food diary, paying attention to ingredients, and tracking what you’re eating and how you’re treating your body.

That’s because metabolic needs go up exponentially after surgery. A high-protein, clean diet can go a long way toward improving recovery. Dr. Buford has performed procedures on several fitness professionals who eat clean, high-protein diets. He says they  tend to “heal remarkably fast.”

If you’re considering or preparing for a cosmetic treatment, don’t overlook what you eat. That includes non-surgical treatments. You may not think your diet will impact the result of your Botox, but it absolutely can.

“If the canvas doesn’t look good, simply erasing lines and wrinkles isn’t going to fix the problem,” he said.

Have questions about what you should or shouldn’t eat before a procedure? Ask a doctor.