My Doctor is NOT Recommending Pre-op/Post Op Vitamin Supplement, Why?

Hi there, I should explain more: My Breast Reduction surgery is in 25 days. Very short ' get myself healthy' before major surgery. For a healthy person maybe. But I Smoke Cigarettes,marijuana,eat poorly if at all. Already suffer from depression and am off my medication (Seriquil) so I could loose the weight suggested before surgery. (all approved by my PCP). I have gone from 200lbs down to 170lbs. I smoke E-cigarette, 0 nicotine for about a month (lil cheats Diet poor,no vitimans do i need ?

Doctor Answers 6

Supplements for

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Omega 3 fats (e.g. fish oil, EFA, flax seed oil, Krill oil), NSAID's (aspirin, ibuprofen, naprosyn), Vitamin E, "blood thinners" and a whole host of supplements and medicines can cause excessive bleeding and bruising and therefore increase your recovery time. When in doubt stay away from supplements unless they are designed for surgery. I offer to my patients specific supplements that speed healing, reduce swelling, bruising and in some cases minimize discomfort (for example Bromelain, Arnica Montanum, and Vitamins designed for surgery.

Bottom Line: Certain vitamins and minerals can speed healing others can cause problems and slow the process down or cause complications. If healing is going well I usually let my patients go back to their usual regimen of supplements

Check with your doctor as only your doctor would have access to your medical history and what would be best for you. We typically allow our patients to continue their supplements 10 days post op if their recovery is going well.

Need more than vitamins, consider a lifestyle overhaul prior to surgery

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It sounds like you need more than just vitamin supplementation prior to surgery.  Your need a lifestyle modification in order to reduce your chances for post operative complications and a poor result.  Work with your plastic surgeon and family physician for a plant to improve your overall physical and mental health prior to surgery.  

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

Breast Reduction - Poor Nutrition, Former Smoker, Marijuana

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    I would communicate with your plastic surgeon about all of these things, because he or she needs to know about a lot of these things may jeopardize your health and/or your results.

Pre-op/Post Op Vitamin Supplements

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With the information you have given, you definitely need vitamin supplementation. This need to be specifically designed for perioperative use so there is nothing that will interfere with anesthesia and they will actually help you heal. The wrong vitamins and supplements can actually make surgery unsafe. However, that is only the start of what you need. First, you need to postpone your surgery until you have gotten to your ideal weight and maintained it for at least 3 months. This gives your body time to recover from the weight loss and rebuild your defenses and healing ability. During this time you need to make sure your diet has normal nutrients and is balanced with no more than 35-40% carbohydrates and the protein and fat equally divided. You also need to continue to stay off the nicotine and to stop the marijuana. Lastly, you need to stay off the Seroquel until after surgery because of its effects on the EKG and blood cells.


Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon

Are vitamin supplements helpful for surgery recovery?

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The general rule is that vitamins are only necessary or helpful if you are deficient. Because some vitamins actually have the potential for adverse side-effects such as increased risk of bleeding, you should follow your surgeon's advice. Good nutrition starts with eating healthy, favoring vegetables and protein. Congrats on your healthy lifestyle changes and best wishes for a successful outcome with your surgery.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Breast reduction and vitamins

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I think that it is best to ask your specific surgeon what he recommends. Every surgeon is a bit different in what he recommends.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 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.