Optimal wound healing and its close relationship to a patient's positive nutritional balance is well known. For years, physicians have attempted to improve the metabolic status of patients after surgery or trauma. Currently, major emphasis is placed on perioperative nutritional status and its effect on postoperative wound healing. The intricacies of metabolism and healing are areas of current active research, in an effort to advance the quality of patient care. For the head and neck surgeon, wound healing is of paramount concern in areas of tumor extirpation, head and neck reconstruction, and maximization of postoperative functional recovery. To better explain why adequate nutrition is important in postoperative wound healing, we will provide a brief synopsis of nutrition and its relationship to wound healing.