What supplements, vitamins, herbs, foods and ect do I need to get off of before surgery? What supplements help after surgery?
Supplements and Surgery
Doctor Answers 4
Herbal medications and plastic surgery
A majority of otherwise healthy individuals currently are regularly taking herbal medications. This may be with multivitamins and or the usual heart or blood pressure etc medications. I myself regularly take glucoseamine and multivitamins. Although many associate these herbs with being more natural with less side effects than pharmaceutically manufactured prescription medications that is not actually true. Especially in the high doses frequently taken these herbs can thin the blood preventing clotting, prevent healing after surgery, have dangerous interactions with medications given at surgery etc. I have personally had to cancel surgery in the middle of an operation because of bleeding that could not be stopped because the patient took goldenseal or high doses of vitamin E within a few days of surgery without telling me.
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Taking supplements can definitely affect your surgery and its results
This is an excellent question. In general, before surgery, you want to be sure you have no nutritional deficiencies (such as vitamin C, iron, etc.). You should also avoid any supplements that thin the blood (making bleeding during and after surgery more likely), especially Vitamin E, ginkgo, ginger, garlic, ginseng, fish oil, dan shen, dong quai, and echinacea.
After surgery, I generally recommend vitamin C and Arnica Montana, which can help the healing process and reduce bruising, respectively.
I generally provide my patients with a more comprehensive list of "good" and "bad" supplements and vitamins before and after surgery as well.
Supplements in the Perioperative Period
Many supplements have subtle anticoagulant properties, which can be beneficial for every day life, but can introduce problems in a surgical procedure. Therefore, I ask my patients to continue taking a multivitamin if they so desire, and stop all additional vitamin e, fish oil, ginkgo, echinaciae, st. john's wort, and discontinue any herbal teas. Bromalin is thought to be helpful for purposes of wound healing and is found in large amounts in pineapple. Arnica Montana can be useful for minimization of bruising, and should be started after the procedure.