When to Stop Drinking Alcohol Prior to Surgery?

How many weeks or days do I have to stop drinking before my rhynoplasty?

Doctor Answers 15

When to Stop Drinking Alcohol Prior to Surgery?

This entirely depends upon how much alcohol a person typically consumes. If normal intake involves a glass of wine or beer with dinner, the a few days prior to surgery. The true concern is people who over imbibe and interfere with their liver function which can create issues with blood clotting following surgery. Conservative consumption of alcohol (one serving per day) a few days before and after surgery is not typically an issue. I hope this information is helpful.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Weber Facial Plastic Surgery

Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 71 reviews

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When to Stop Drinking Alcohol Prior to Surgery?

         One to two weeks of alcohol avoidance around the time of surgery is prudent and reasonable.  Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of rhinoplasties each year.  Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

When is best to stop alcohol consumption before surgery

The question of alcohol consumption prior to surgery is a common one, and the answer depends on how much a person routinely drinks. For light alcohol consumption (e.g., up to 1 glass of wine a night), patients can continue their usual routine up to the night before surgery, and resume a few days after surgery.
That said, the issue of alcohol and surgery merits a closer look. The goal of rhinoplasty (or any elective, cosmetic procedure for that matter) is a great result in the safest manner possible. The topic of peri-operative alcohol consumption relates the the "safest manner possible" because moderate to high levels of alcohol consumption can impact the overall safety of an operation in a couple of ways.

First, several common anesthetic agents effect the body in a manner similar to alcohol. Patients with regular alcohol use may require larger doses of anesthesia to be effective or the anesthesiologist may select a different anesthetic.

Second, most of the common pain medications (e.g., Lortab, Vicodin, Hycet, Percocet, Lorcet, etc.) contain Tylenol, and Tylenol is broken down by the same internal organ that breaks down alcohol-- the liver. As a result, the combination of alcohol and Tylenol can potentially cause liver damage.

What is the bottom line? Clearly and acurately communicate to your surgeon and your anesthesiologist your usual alcohol consumption so that they can best educate you on the safest manner to proceed. The safest solution is to stop a few days prior and wait to resume until you no longer require frequent pain medication.


Jeffrey Cone, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon

When to stop drinking alcohol prior to surgery?

The general rule for alcohol consumption before surgery is to stop two weeks prior to your procedure. However, this does depend on the amount of alcohol a patient consumes on a regular basis.

The reason patients are asked to stop drinking two weeks prior to their procedure is because alcohol can sometimes cause excessive bleeding during the surgery.

I hope this information helps!

Cory Torgerson, MD, PhD, FRCSC
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

When to stop Alcohol consumption before surgery

It is recommended to discontinue the consumption of alcohol 1 week prior and 1 week after your surgery.

Leonard Hochstein, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

Preoperative drinking

In general I recommend nothing more than a glass of wine at a time before surgery, and avoid significant alcohol consumption for a week before and  a week after surgery.  You should definitely not drink alcohol when you are taking antibiotics or pain medications.

Alcohol consumption prior to surgery

It is usually best to stop drinking alcohol one week prior to surgery.  Drinking in moderation would be unlikely to cause any long term adverse result.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

When Do I Stop Drinking Prior to Surgery? #nosejob

There is no hard set answer here. I like my patients to refrain from alcohol for about 7-10 days prior to surgery and not drink after for a few weeks either. Alcohol, especially red wine can thin the blood and increase bleeding risk.

Richard J. Brown, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Alcohol prior to surgery

I think it is best to avoid alcohol use for a week or so before surgery.  This also should not be mixed with medications.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Drinking alcohol and Rhinoplasty Encinitas

Many patients enjoy wine with dinner, especially the evening before life changing aesthetic rhinoplasty, and I encourage this.  After rhinoplasty, the narcotic analgesics and valium or xanax are usually wonderful substitutes for wine, beer, and/or cocktails.  The desire to enjoy alcoholic beverages is usually delayed until at least one week after surgery when internal and external splints are removed, swelling is resolved, and patients see their beautiful result.  Usually at that time, a small celebration is in order, including a toast to life well lived.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 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.