How to Recover from Plastic Surgery — Advice from San Diego Naturopathic Doctors

Kathleen Lisson
3 min readApr 7, 2017

by Kathleen Lisson, CMT, CLT (CAMTC #70128)

Cancer biopsy, Mohs surgery and reconstruction of my zygomatic process. In all of my past surgical experiences, I remembered very little discussion of what I could do as a patient to make myself as healthy as possible before my reconstructive or oncology surgery. I was surprised to learn there are quite a few things we can do as patients to improve our ability to heal faster from an operation. In this article I will share the ‘inside scoop’ with you — tips and advice from three Naturopathic Doctors in San Diego on how to prepare for surgery and recover faster from your operation.

Why turn to a Naturopathic Doctor? According to the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, Naturopathic Medicine is the emphasizes “prevention, treatment, and optimal health through the use of therapeutic methods and substances that encourage individuals’ inherent self-healing process.”

Dr. Kristine Reese of LotusRain Naturopathic Clinic in San Diego has developed a pre- and post-surgery protocol designed to increase wound healing and decrease the formations of adhesions around the incision site. The recommendations include supplements, IV therapy and dietary changes as well as breath, visualization and meditation techniques. Dr. Reese recommends a variety of vitamins and minerals to help clients recover in the months after surgery, including Vitamin A, C, E, Copper and a multivitamin with Zinc. She uses Traumeel IV and injections to assist with healing and diminish any bruising after plastic surgery. Constipation from anesthesia can be a distressing side effect of surgery. Dr. Reese’s treatment for post-surgical constipation includes hot water bottles or warm towels over the abdomen, massage, Super Aloe and/or Magnesium Citrate. She also recommends clients increase chewing, fiber and consumption of hot drinks.

Find Dr. Kristine Reese online at the Lotus Rain Facebook : the Lotus Rain Twitter: and the LotusRain LinkedIn:

Dr. Natasha Monterey of Prime Wellness in San Diego shares that “seeing a Naturopathic Doctor before and after surgery can be very beneficial to minimize the effects of the surgery and improve healing time.” Prime Wellness offers IV therapy, including anti-inflammatory IVs, Vitamin C IVs, and glutathione push injections to “provide a broad spectrum of nutrient support to decrease inflammation, boost antioxidants, and help the body recover.” Supplement support includes Vitamin C, anti-inflammatory herbs, and modified citrus pectin. Collagen powder, probiotics, and branch chain amino acids to improve digestion, increase protein absorption and “aid in healing”. Dr. Monterey says that “Naturopathic Medicine is a tremendous modality when it comes to optimizing health and supporting the body through the stress of every day life including surgery” and recommends that clients come in for their first consultation a month before for a plan going into surgery and plan on another visit 1–2 weeks after their operation.

Find Dr. Natasha Monterey online at the Prime Wellness Facebook: and Prime Wellness Instagram

Dr. Jason Phan NMD of LIVV Natural Health specializes in physical medicine/orthopedics. Before their orthopedic or reconstructive surgery, Dr. Phan recommends that clients “obtain imaging studies (X-ray and MRI) to assess the extent of damage to the affected joint” and “seek a consult with a specially trained Prolotherapy/PRP physician to see if they may be a candidate for this non-surgical procedure to improve structure and function of the joint.” Dr. Phan says that “prolotherapy/PRP has shown significant results in scientific research and clinical studies in improving joint structure before and after surgery.” LIVV Natural Health also offers IV therapy treatments to improve healing. Dr. Phan recommends that clients “stay active and improve mobility early on in the recovery process” after surgery, commenting that “the body is resilient and keeping adequate blood flow within the affected joint is recommended.”

Find Dr. Jason Phan online at the LIVV Natural on Facebook: and the LIVV Natural on Instagram:

There is scientific evidence to support several of the recommendations given above. Read more about the link between nutrients and wound healing here:

Have you received any advice or had a positive experience with practices that improved your health and ability to recover quickly from plastic, orthopedic or reconstructive surgery? Please share them in the comments below.



Kathleen Lisson

San Diego lymphedema therapist, Massage CE provider. Author, Plastic Surgery Recovery Handbook & Lipedema Treatment Guide, Stress Reduction for Lymphedema.