St. Petersburg Health & Wellness

PRE & POST Operative Nutritional IV Therapy Speeds Healing
Subscribe for Updates

By Les Cole, MD

Why should you get IV nutritional therapy if you are having surgery? 

Insufficient nutrition impairs wound healing and leaves surgical patients more susceptible to post-operative complications.  By providing optimal IV nutritional supplementation before and after surgery we can positively influence your surgical outcome. The risk of complications also increases from other medical conditions, which increases the importance of optimal perioperative nutrition.  Patients who are poorly nourished, overweight, and/or have diabetes or other health problems are particularly prone to surgery-related complications; including wound infection and poor healing.

Most Americans consume diets too high in calories and deficient in essential nutrients.  We are known as a malnourished and overfed population.  More than 70% of American adults do not even get two-thirds of the RDA for 1 or more nutrients and the RDA is only enough to prevent a deficiency disease (i.e. Rickets, Beriberi, Scurvy) but not enough for your optimal healing.  The Standard American Diet (SAD) is notably poor in the consumption of fruits and vegetables – foods with high micronutrient density.  American meals, loaded with packaged, processed, nutrient-poor foods, contribute to nutrient deficiencies that result in a shortage of micronutrients and antioxidants – particularly important to surgical patients undergoing anesthesia, trauma, and wound healing.

Deficits in micronutrients such as zinc, selenium, vitamin B6 & D (to name a few) have a negative influence on the immune response.  Perioperative IV supplementation can have a significant and measurable effect on your surgical outcome by favorably affecting 4 primary mechanisms:  reduction of oxidation generated by surgery and anesthetic agents, enhancement of immunity, reduction of bruising, swelling, and inflammation and promotion of wound healing.  Beneficial antioxidants can deactivate unstable free radicals resulting from trauma or surgery, thereby playing an important role in the prevention of further damage.  Vitamins, minerals and nutrients such as carotenoids, vitamin A and C, selenium, bioflavonoids and glutathione act as antioxidants. Specific amino acids are needed for tissue building and others actually increase healing. Specific nutrients stimulate anabolic (“building”) hormones and reduce catabolic (“breaking down”) hormones. Zinc, selenium, vitamin B6 & D and other nutrients mobilize and improve immune function while decreasing inflammation.

This is important because during surgery it has been documented that the blood and tissue levels of nutrients decrease while the body’s requirement for them increases. What are you often told to do before surgery? Fast (i.e. nothing to eat for up to 8 hours before surgery) – so you are nutrient depleting an already nutrient deficient body and brain. In addition, you are also told to stop all vitamins and supplements 2 weeks before surgery.  In an effort to prevent bleeding, you are being even more nutritionally compromised. Yes, there are certain nutrients you do not want to take before surgery since they can increase bleeding risks, but many others are essential to healing.

IV pre and post-operative nutrition is the solution to optimal perioperative nutrition and can decrease bruising, swelling, inflammation, pain, scarring, and infection rates.  It will also significantly improve wound healing and recovery time.  If you have or plan any of the following you owe it to yourself to come get IV nutritional supplementation:

Bariatric Surgery – very important in your case because it is likely your diet has been high in macronutrients and low in micronutrients – i.e. foods that don’t support healing

  • Gastric Band
  • Gastric Bypass
  • Sleeve Gastrectomy

Cosmetic Procedure – for cosmetic purposes, you want the best healing, least scarring you can achieve

  • Botox
  • Chemical Peel
  • Cosmetic Laser
  • Cosmetic PRP (Vampire Lift)
  • Cosmetic Surgery
  • Dermabrasion
  • Dermal Fillers
  • Fat Transplants
  • Hair Transplants
  • Implants
  • Laser Hair Removal
  • Laser Skin Resurfacing
  • Liposuction
  • Skin Rejuvenation
  • Spider Vein Treatment
  • Vaginal Rejuvenation

Gastrointestinal Surgery –  very important because you are likely to have poor digestion and absorption from your gastrointestinal tract before and after surgery

  • Dental
  • Esophageal
  • Gall Bladder
  • Intestinal
  • Laryngeal
  • Liver
  • Pancreas
  • Pharynx
  • Rectum
  • Throat

Major Surgery – very important with surgeries with a long recovery time, you are less likely to eat as well because of pain, decreased appetite, limitation of mobility (to ensure adequate nutrition), institutional food, etc.

  • Abdominal
  • Brain/Cranial
  • Cardiovascular
  • Gynecologic
  • Head/Neck
  • Neurologic
  • Orthopedic
  • Pelvic
  • Pulmonary
  • Thoracic
  • Urologic
  • Vertebral/Disc

Cancer Surgery – high-level nutrition is one of the main Functional Medicine treatments for cancer. Fighting cancer is best done with high-level nutritional support of the immune system. Surgery taxes your immune system nutritionally even further while it is already hard at work fighting your cancer.

Surgery – anywhere you want quicker healing time to get back to your life sooner and fewer complications that could be expensive or debilitating to life-threatening

  • Dermal injections
  • Joint injections
  • Laparoscopic
  • Major surgery
  • Minor surgery
  • Orthoscopic surgery
  • Small Incision

Tattoos – require healing as the needle injures the dermis in the skin while impregnating it with ink. Your tattoo will heal much more quickly with less pain and less chance of scar, keloid formation or possible infection

Injury/Trauma/Burns – IV nutrient supplementation is very important in these situations. Whenever you experience bodily injury, trauma or burns – inflammation, oxidative stress and physical/emotional/mental stress all skyrocket and your immune system is mobilized to deal with it. This takes a tremendous amount of work and energy. With each biochemical reaction (of which there are millions) requiring every nutrient, your nutrient needs increase drastically. More than 70% of American adults do not even get two-thirds of the RDA for 1 or more nutrients and the RDA is only enough to prevent a deficiency disease (i.e. Rickets, Beriberi, Scurvy) but not enough for your optimal healing. And this is your state before the injury, trauma or burn.



Article History


Meet Our

Providers & Staff

no photo- logo image


Doctor of Functional & Metabolic Medicine

no photo- logo image

Kathie Gonzales, ARNP

Family Nurse Practitioner

photo of jayla

Jayla Blair

Medical Assistant
Patient Care Coordinator

photo june drennon

June Drennon

Clinical Thermographer