As a post-op patient myself, I have recently revisited the naturopathic surgery protocols I learned in school, and am excited to update them with pearls from my own experience. In general, naturopathic doctors are qualified to perform minor surgery in several states and territories, but higher force interventions like pharmaceuticals and surgery are usually reserved for more advanced stages of disease. Still, there is a very unique place for naturopaths in the care of pre- and post-op patients, as I hope my experience demonstrates.
Naturopathic doctors approach surgery with several goals in mind: to bolster nutrition stores in order to build resilience, to minimize unnecessary inflammation and pain, and to support the natural healing process inherent in all of us. Sometimes these lofty goals are easier said than done, but for straightforward surgical procedures, here's a general outline of naturopathic tips and tricks.
Of course, this list is a just a general outline of naturopathic interventions to consider when planning for surgery. While it is by no means exhaustive, incorporating even a few of these basic concepts can make a big difference in healing times following an operation. As with any changes to your healthcare plan, consult with a licensed healthcare professional and with your surgeon to devise the best course of action for your particular situation.
I hope these are helpful, and from one post-op patient to another, happy and speedy healing!
(1) Danielski, et al. "Preoperative vitamin C supplementation improves colorectal anastomotic healing and biochemical parameters in malnourished rats." International Journal of Colorectal Disease. 2016 Nov;31(11):1759-1766.
(2) de Andrade Calaca, et al. "Probiotics as a preventive strategy for surgical infection in colorectal cancer patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials." Translational Gastroenterolgy and Hepatology. 2017 Aug 23;2:67.
About the Author
Sarah Ouano is a naturopathic doctor and writer. A fierce advocate for health equity and rights of the marginalized, she frequently writes about the intersection of naturopathic medicine and public health, throwing in personal anecdotes and tasty (and practical) recipes along the way.