Surgery has been referred to as “benign violence” (Waldron 1985)—an appropriate term for the calculated and deliberate wounding of a human body, even when the goal is curing disease.
Indeed, from a biological standpoint, surgery causes many of the same kinds of tissue damage that occur during a traumatic injury. While this injury may be necessary and beneficial, the body does not discriminate between a surgeon’s scalpel and any other kind of trauma. In fact, studies have shown that patients are under great physical stress both during and after surgery. However, few conventional physicians recommend proven ways to speed recovery and produce better patient outcomes.
In general, surgery can be divided into three main phases: the preoperative period; period during surgery; and postoperative, or recovery period. At each of these stages, patients can take an active role in their own well-being by following documented steps to support their body’s antioxidant stores, reduce inflammation, and modulate immune responses that accompany surgery. By paying careful attention to nutritional status, patients can speed their recovery and experience more successful results (Asher 2004; Schmiesing 2005).