What to eat after surgery

After surgery, some people find it difficult to eat or enjoy their

food. This reluctance to sit down at meal times, plus an inability

to consume normal, solid food, is especially true after dental surgery.

It’s not difficult to see why: too much chewing, slurping or sucking

can aggravate the treated area, resulting in discomfort and even pain. It

also can potentially re-open the area, causing bleeding or infection that will

delay healing or cause problems with the surgery if the area is disturbed

too much. However, despite any fears or lack of appetite, it’s vital that you

continue to eat, as nutrients provide energy and facilitate your healing

process on the road to recovery.

Many patients ask, “What types of food are best?” “What sort of meals

should be avoided?” In general, the rule of thumb is: no spicy foods, chips,

popcorn, acidic juices, or carbonated drinks. But we prefer to go a step

further and provide a series of menu suggestions that are both inventive and

nutritious for the body.

The day of your surgery and for the first 24 hours following, it’s a

good idea to give your teeth a bit of a break. For this reason, cold soups,

smoothies, jello/puddings, and cold drinks should be your main dietary

intake. And remember, refrain from using a straw, because the sucking

action can cause excess strain, move the newly formed blood clot, and delay

your ultimate recovery.

Suggestions for Day I


Banana-Mango Shake

Blackberry-Orange Cooler

Chocolate Banana Smoothie

Iced lea


Milk Shake (no straws allowed)

Nutritional Supplement Drink (e.g., Slim.Fast, Carnation Instant

Breakfast, Ensure)

Strawberry-Blueberry Smoothie



Examples of recipes:

MAINS:                                                      DESSERTS:

Cold Pasta                                                 Applesauce

French Ratatouille Soup                        Cold Pudding

Orange-Carrot Soup                               Jell-O Desserts

Gazpacho Soup                                      Chocolate Mousse

Mango-Melon Soup                               Yogurt or Kefir

Mashed Potatoes

Mexican Avocado Soup

Apple and Potato Soup

Tomato Soup


Banana-Mango Shake

Bananas are a natural source of potassium, which makes them popular with athletes and those with high blood pressure. But they also help replace electrolytes,   charges needed to power the body and maintain fluid balance. The enzymes inside mango, such as magneferin, katechol oxidase and lactase help the body maintain resistance to fight germs. Aside from all of that, they taste great together. We strongly recommend making this shake fresh at home.


•     ½ banana

•     1 cup mango, peeled, pitted and chopped

•     ½ cup plain yogurt

•     1 cup of ice cubes

•     non-acidic juice (e.g., apple) or milk as needed


Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Add juice or milk gradually until shake is the desired consistency/thickness.

Apple and Potato Soup


•     4 tbsp. butter

•     2 leeks (white part). sliced

•     5 cups tart apples e.g. Granny Smith peeled, cored, and chopped

•     6 cups chicken stock

•     2 cups potatoes, peeled and chopped

•     1 cup heavy cream, or half and half

•     2 tsp. Calvados (or apple brandy)

•     1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

•     salt and white pepper, to taste

•     2 apples, peeled, cored, diced, for garnish

•     2 tbsp. butter, for garnish


In a large saucepan. melt the butter. Sauté the leeks over medium

heat, covered, for three to four minutes. Toss in the apples and cook,

uncovered,  for about five minutes, coating them well with the butter.

Pour in the stock, add the potatoes, and bring the mixture to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. When the apples and

potatoes are soft, puree the mixture in a blender—solids first—until

smooth. Return the puree to the saucepan, and slowly stir in the

cream, Calvados, and cinnamon. Season to taste. In a separate pan,

sauté the diced apple in two tablespoons of butter until soft, for

about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and drain on a paper towel until

ready to serve. Refrigerate if you are going to serve cold, in which

case you will want to over-season a bit.  When ready to serve, top the

soup with the diced apple garnish.


Chicken Pesto Pasta

Eating this delicious dish can also prevent infection. Basil, the main

ingredient of pesto, is actually a natural, gentle sedative that helps to relieve

high blood pressure and the symptoms of peptic ulcers. The unique array

of volatile oils found in basil — which contain estragole, linalool, cineole,

eugenol, sabinene, myrcene, and limonene — provide protection against

unwanted bacterial growth. Some bacteria that basil works best against

are strains of bacteria from the genera Staphylococcus, Enterococcus

and Pseudomonas, all of which are not only widespread but have now

developed a high level of resistance to antibiotics.


•     2 tbsp. vegetable oil

•     1/2 lb chicken tenders (softest part of chicken)

•     1 tbsp. salt

•     8 oz. fettuccini

•     2½ cups basil

•     5 cloves garlic

•     ½ cup pine nuts

•     2/3 cup olive oil

•     1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated


In a frying pan, heat the vegetable oil, and add the chopped chicken.

Saute the meat and fully cook the chicken before setting it aside. To

make the sauce, combine the basil, garlic and pine nuts in a food

processor (or blender) until it reaches a paste-like texture. Slowly

pour in the olive oil while still blending together. Then, stir in the

cheese. Taste and season with salt and pepper, as needed. At the same

time, boil a large pot of salted water. When it reaches a rolling boil,

add the fettuccini and cook until al dente. Toss the cooked pasta with

the pesto sauce, topping the dish with the cooked chicken pieces.



Broccoli Omelet

Everyone now knows broccoli’s nutritive power extends beyond just multi-

vitamins and antioxidants. It also contains enough calcium to supplement

the diets of those who do not consume dairy products. However, are you

an expert at selecting broccoli? Choose only the darkest greens and the

thinnest stalks, and go for organic. Color is key: never choose yellow.


•     1 tbsp. vegetable oil

•     3 eggs

•     dash of salt and pepper

•     1/3 cup cooked broccoli, small pieces

•     1/2cup cheddar cheese, shredded


Warm a frying pan on medium heat and add the oil. In a bowl, beat

eggs, salt and pepper together, then add the mixture to the hot pan.

Turn the temperature to medium-low and cook the egg. Once the top

side has set (looks mainly firm), add the cheese and broccoli to one-

half of the top side of the omelet. Fold the egg in half, covering the

cheese and broccoli. Cook for two to four more minutes, until cheese

has melted.



Thanks to Dr. Arun Garg for passing along these recipes!