Tramadol Before Surgery?

Hi. I am scheduled for a tummy tuck and breast lift on 9/19. I currently take tramadol on a daily basis. I have been taking it for years after a bad back injury. I asked my plastic surgeon and anestesiologist and both say it is fine to take even the morning of the surgery. I trust them of course but have read that it can interfere with the meds given during surgery. My dr said " many people having surgery are on pain meds and it's fine' I just would like another opinion... Or 2. :) Thank you.

Doctor Answers 8

Tramadol before surgery

Thanks for your question.  You did the right thing advising your surgeon and anesthesiologist about all of your medications prior to surgery.  It is not uncommon to administer an anesthetic to a patient taking chronic narcotic pain meds.  The anesthesiologist can adjust the medications required while you are asleep accordingly.  

Have a question? Ask a doctor

Tramadol Usage Prior to Surgery

            It's not unusual for plastic surgeons to perform cosmetic surgery on patients with chronic pain. Many of these patients take Tramadol for their pain. Tramadol is a narcotic pain reliever that’s effective and relatively safe.

             This drug doesn’t effect the clotting mechanisms and for this reason isn’t a contra indication to cosmetic surgery. Occasionally patients who have utilized Tramadol for prolonged periods of time develop tolerance to narcotics. Under these circumstances the dose and type of painkiller may require modification.

            It's important to discuss your use of this drug with your plastic surgeon. Your surgeon should be able to formulate a plan to address your postoperative pain management.


Tramadol will not have any effect on your surgery or anesthesia. I would follow the anesthesiologist's recommendation as to whether to take it the morning before surgery or not. Best wishes

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Keep taking tramadol.

hi. tramadol can be taken as preventive pain medicine. after surgery you can keep taking the same medication. sometimes in combination with others. 

Translation provided by doctor:

hola. tramadol puede ser tomado como analgesia preventiva. despues de la cirugia puedes continuar tomandolo, algunas veces en combinacion con otros analgesicos.

dr jpc

Discontinue Tramadol Before Surgery?

thank you for the question. Being on Tramadol should not interfere with your surgery. Most medications that are stopped prior to surgery are stopped because on the effects it has on bleeding (increases the risk). Tramadol is an opioid used to treat pain. I agree with the opinions you have received from your physicians. Perhaps you will be able to stay on your Tramadol post operatively for pain relief.

I hope this helps. Good luck.

Pedro M. Soler, Jr., MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Tramadol ok before surgery

Tramadol should not interfere with your surgery or anesthesia. It does not cause increased bleeding. Good luck.

Ronald Schuster, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Tramadol and surgery

Your surgeon and the anesthesiologist's advice seems sound.

This might help you to understand tramadol effects. 

  • Tramadol is an opioid (narcotic) pain killer used for chronic pain like yours and for pain after surgery.
  • It is safer than some other narcotics - it does decrease your breathing, and seems safer for people who smoke, are obese or have damaged liver or kidney function.
  • Because it is a narcotic, you may have a tolerance to narcotics, needing more narcotics than usual during anesthesia and for pain after surgery.
  • Discuss with your surgeon whether after surgery, you should take more tramadol instead of higher doses of another narcotics.

Hope all goes well. Enjoy your result!

Tramadol Before Surgery

There should be no problem taking the medicines you regularly take up to the time of surgery unless they are on the list of meds not to take, most of which interfere with normal blood clotting. You have already gotten good opinions from the doctors who know you best. We will not have much to add.

Best wishes for your upcoming surgery. Thank you for your question. 

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.