Do I Have to Go off of my Anti-Seizure Medication for the Surgery?

I am looking at having a tummy tuck, breast reduction and lipo. I am concerned that I might have to go off of my anit-seizure medication (Gabapnetin). Since it is the only thing keeping me from having seizures, what are my options for these types of surgery and meds?

Doctor Answers 13

Pre-existing Medication and Surgery

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I would not see the need for you to come off your medication prior to having you surgery.  These types of decisions need to be made wth your anaesthetist, surgeon and probably your Neurologist.  As far as I am aware there is no contraindication to Gabapentim and body contouring surgery.


Stephen Salerno

Medically necessary medication and plastic surgery

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With any medications that are medically necessary you should work with your plastic surgeon and primary physician.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Seizure medication and surgery

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As with all medical conditions for which there is a treatment plan in place prescribed by another doctor, it is wise for you and your surgeon to coordinate efforts with the doctor prescribing the treatment.  This would include seizure treatment.  While I am personally not aware of any contraindications to doing this kind of surgery on someone with a well-controlled seizure disorder on this medication, and I have even done so on numerous occasions myself, I also do not do it without consultation and clearance from the patient's neurologist before surgery.  Thus, you should let your surgeon know about your condition and treatment, and provide the contact information for your neurologist, or even proactively schedule an appointment with your neurologist and let him or her know of your plans for surgery and get recommendations regarding your medication and postoperative care.  This should then be communicated by written report or personal phone call between your doctors so it can be documented in your records and followed by your surgeon.  

Joseph L. Grzeskiewicz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

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Anti-Seizure Medication and Upcoming Tummy Tuck Surgery?

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You will find that your plastic surgeon will have specific instructions for you in regards to the use of current medications. Generally speaking, these types of medications are continued  until the time of surgery and afterwards ( unless there is a specific contraindication such as a medication increasing the likelihood of bleeding);  it  will be important that all medical concerns, including seizures be optimally controlled prior to proceeding.

 Best wishes.

Seizures and surgery?

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Dear LFL,
Thank you for your post. There is nothing contra-indicated about having breast surgery or TT when one has epilepsy.  It sounds like your epilepsy is well controlled. Notify your physician of your intentions, and ask for advice on modulation of epilepsy meds during the post-operative period.  I do not think you need to come off of the meds however.
Best wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Medications Before Surgery

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Generally, you should be able to continue taking your medication as long as they pose no risk during surgery. In some cases, certain medications need to maintain a steady state level within your body. By interrupting their use, it may throw these levels off. Therefore, it is advised that the patient check with the providing physician and the anesthesiologist regarding the advisability regarding your specific health condition. All the best –Dr. Cohen


You would continue with your seizure medication before and after surgery.

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The only medications that we stop around surgery is blood thinner and some immune modulating agents.  Otherwise it is very important that medications that are controlling body systems issues (e.g., high blood pressure, diabetes, seizures, depression) be continued.

Anti-seizure medication generally not stopped foreign abdominoplasty.

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It would be unwise to comment specifically on your medication. This is a decision that will be made by the surgeon and anesthesiologist. On balance, most patients continue to take their usual medications throughout the operation and convalescence.

Do I Have to Go off of my Anti-Seizure Medication for the Surgery?

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        Your seizures should be controlled prior to surgery, and gabapentin is generally not contraindicated prior to surgery.  You should confer with your plastic surgeon and anesthesiologist prior to surgery.  Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of tummy tucks 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

Seizures and Surgery

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Preventing seizures during general anesthesia is very important.  Most seizure medications should be continued during surgical procedures.  However, to prevent drug interactions and any potential complications, the Plastic Surgeon, the Anesthesiologist, and your Neurologist and/or Primary Care Physician should all work together prior to the surgery.  I highly recommend pre-operative consultation with your physician with direct request to address the seizure medication manangement before, during, and after the surgery.  Coordinated medical teamwork is the best way to ensure safe outcome from the surgical procedure.  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.