Is It Safe to Eat Marijuana Before or After Surgery?

There are a fair amount of questions about smoking/vaporizing marijuana both pre and post-op. It's clear that smoking anything can negatively affect surgery. But what about eating it? Will the pot itself affect the healing process?

Doctor Answers (4)

Eating some MJ


Is eating marijuana okay? Well, first, I wouldn't want to encourange any behavior which in your individual case or the state you live in may be illegal.  That being said, there are no studies on whether eating marijuana can compromise wound healing.  Eating or vaporizing marijuana is theoretically better then smoking it.  There may also be some antiinflammatory properaties to THC, not that taking an Advil wouldn't also have anitinflammatory advantages either.  But I don't hear anyone jonesing for an Motrin muffin, so...

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Is Marijuana safe before and after surgery


I agree that smoking is not beneficial to healing, but what about eating marijuana. There are no controlled studies concerning the effect of THC on healing, strictly in and oral form. Safe, perhaps, but the data is not there. As the use of medical marijuana spreads, perhaps questions such as these will deserve study. The benefits such as reduction of pain and anxiety, reduction of nausea, and improvement in appetite claimed, all deserve study so that appropriate recommendations can be made. The best advice now, discuss any medication or medicinal with your surgeon and anesthesiologist before and after your procedure.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Marijuana eating and surgery


 I owuld not recommend using marijuana by smoking or eating before or after surgery. Besides being illegal, there are no studies looking at the effects of digested marjuana.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

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Marijuana and breast implants


There have never been any studies about marijuana and healing that I know of, and there will likely never be, until marijuana is legalized. 

Although THC is not similar to nicotine, to be on the safe side, i put it in the same category because we don't know its effects.  For surgeries that do not have difficult healing issues, such as breast augmentation, I do not enforce any alteration in habits.  For other surgeries such as tummy tuck or breast reduction or lift, i do recommend three weeks cessation before and two weeks after. There is no data to support this, but it makes me feel safer.

Gordon Lewis, MD
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.