5 Reasons Alcohol and Surgery Don’t Mix

K. Mathews on 25 Dec 2013 at 10:00am

holiday cocktailsWhile you may be tempted to toast to a successful plastic surgery operation or knock one back at an upcoming holiday party, most doctors wouldn’t recommend it. Here are 5 reasons why you shouldn’t chase your cosmetic procedure with alcohol.

1. Alcohol increases swelling

After undergoing a surgery, you want your body to be at its desired size as soon as possible. However, drinking alcohol widens your blood vessels, causing your body to swell. Your nose is especially susceptible to alcohol-related swelling following rhinoplasty, so you’ll have to make a choice between your appearance and your buzz.

alcohol after surgery2. Alcohol boosts bleeding

 All invasive surgeries require a recovery period, and alcohol only tends to impede this process. By thinning the blood, alcohol puts post-op patients at a greater risk for bleeding and a prolonged recovery.

3. Alcohol leaves you susceptible to pain

While many turn to booze to cope with emotional pain, it doesn’t work the same with the physical pain following cosmetic surgery. According to Memphis plastic surgeon Dr. Peter Aldea, frequent drinkers “may find that pain medications do not work as well and do not last as long as they would otherwise.”

4. Alcohol may make your medications dangerous

More than alcohol just dulling a medication’s effects, Scottsdale plastic surgeon Dr. Steven Turkelaub warns that booze “can interact with pain and certain other medications in ways that can be detrimental and even dangerous.” Prioritize the prescription bottle over the beer bottle.

5. Alcohol dries out your skin

What’s the use in having cosmetic surgery only to have the new you marred with unattractive skin? When consumed to excess, alcohol causes people to urinate more, which in turn leads to dehydration and drier skin.

For optimal results, many doctors recommend abstaining from alcohol for two weeks leading up to and following surgery, though this time-frame varies depending on the procedure.

Photo credit: bigdoghouse.com; Jasmine Walker1 on flickr