Patient in hospital bed looking at doctor

In patients with an increased risk of malnutrition, the incidence of surgical infections is 1.8 times higher than in the comparison group [1]. Weight loss can be an indicator of malnutrition, but is not a reliable diagnostic feature.

The nutritional status can be optimized, for example, through preoperative supplementation. This often focuses primarily on the macronutrients from which the body obtains energy. However, a lack of micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals and trace elements can also have a negative impact on physiological processes. Micronutrients catalyze numerous reactions in both catabolism and anabolism. In addition, micronutrients often influence each other. A deficiency of these micronutrients can, among other things, limit the usability of the calories consumed.

capsule with fruits and vitamins

In addition to optimizing the general condition through sufficient preoperative calorie intake, strengthening the immune system is helpful in preventing infections. In addition, the metabolic pathways for tissue regeneration and energy metabolism are particularly important for the fastest possible regeneration and healing processes with as few complications as possible. A lack of micronutrients in these areas often has direct physiological consequences. For example, an inadequate supply of vitamin D is associated with an increased risk of complications in scar formation and a cosmetically unsatisfactory result [2]. Similarly, a suboptimal supply of vitamin B12 and iron can have a negative impact on scar quality [3].


  1. Skeie, Eli, Anne Mette Koch, Stig Harthug, Unni Fosse, Kari Sygnestveit, Roy Miodini Nilsen, and Randi J. Tangvik. "A positive association between nutritional risk and the incidence of surgical site infections: A hospital-based register study." PLoS ONE 13.5 (2018)
  2. Akoh CC, Orlow SJ. A Review of Vitamin D and Scarring: The Potential for New Therapeutics. J Drugs Dermatol. 2020 Jul 1;19(7):742-745
  3. Benbow M, Stevens J Exudate, infection and patient quality of life. Br J Nurs 19(20): S30–6 (2010)