Garlic and Ginger before surgery?

I'm scheduled for liposuction in 9 days. Is eating garlic and ginger problematic? Garlic and ginger supplements are on my "stop" list, but I don't take them. Not thinking, I made a batch of homemade ginger tea (fresh, raw ginger) and drank a cup. Oops. I also have meals planned with lots of fresh ginger and garlic. Should I scrap these?

Doctor Answers 10

Garlic supplements and their risk of increased bleeding for surgery #garlic #surgery #garlicsupplements #johnmesamd

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Garlic supplements and garlic containing dietary supplements are well know to cause increased bleeding in surgery ( see National Institute of Health link bellow: "Are there safety concerns?" section). Therefore, these supplements should be avoided prior surgery. Garlic seasoning in food, when used in small amounts, may now cause any bleeding problems, since the total amount of garlic is quite low ( daily requirements) compared with the garlic supplements. However, garlic rich food like "gambas al ajillo" ( garlic shrimp) should be avoided prior surgery to be in the safe side. 

John Mes, MD
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
New Jersey (NJ) & New York City (NYC)

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 136 reviews

Garlic and Ginger before surgery?

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I usually advise my patients to stop all non prescription and herbal medications 2 weeks prior to surgery as they may interfere with blood clotting and causes more risks of bleeding and bruising. I think having ginger and garlic in foods is fine.

Sydney Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 142 reviews


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Supplements with garlic and ginger should be avoided prior to surgery.  The foods are fine unless done in excessive amounts.

Susan Kolb, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

No problem with Ginger or garlic prior to liposuction.

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I don't think consumption of these products will have any effect. Nevertheless, this is something you should confess to your own surgeon.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Herbal supplements

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Some supplements, such as garlic and ginger, can increase bleeding during surgery and therefore should be avoided.  A small amount included in your diet is generally ok, as long as it's not excessive.  I would not plan meals that have large amounts of these herbs in them.  The best bet is to follow the advice of your plastic surgeon.

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Garlic and ginger

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Yes I would scrap them.  It is not worth the risk of a post operative complication although the chances of that are low the consequences are expensive

Robert Kearney, MD, FACS
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Garlic and Ginger

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All supplements like garlic and ginger pills should be stopped  2-3 weeks before surgery.  Both of these in pill form have been shown to  decrease platelet activity and therefore increase bleeding and bruising.  Garlic and ginger in the diet in non-concentrated amounts would have a minimal effect in small amounts and I have never seen a recommendation to stop small amounts.  Having said that, I  would discuss this with your surgeon and avoid large amounts of these.
Good luck

William Koenig, MD
Rochester Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Garlic and ginger before surgery

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Thank you for your question. We tell our patients to avoid any health food teas, herbal remedies or herbal vitamins one week before surgery. They may contain gingko, garlic, parsley, Vitamin E, ginsend, or a natural salicylate which may increase your bruising. Every plastic surgeon has different guidelines, so please consult with your surgeon.

Best Wishes,
Dr. Mentz

Henry Mentz, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

I do not recommend ginger or garlic 2 weeks before surgery

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I general, I ask my patients to stop all non-prescription meds, supplements etc to stop 2 weeks before surgery.  SOme of them may increase risk of bleeding and bruising.  

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 508 reviews

Garlic and ginger before surgery

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Thank you for asking about your liposuction.

  • Garlic and ginger are anti-inflammatory and will make some people bleed a bit more than usual.
  • A ginger tea is unlikely to be a problem. 
  • Still, let your surgeon know - and set aside the garlic and ginger in your food until after surgery.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Hope you found this answer helpful. Best wishes.

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.