Can One Safely Take Fish Oil and EFA Pre and Post Op Facelift?

i am having a facelift. how might EFA impact on my health and if any, on my surgery and post op recovery?

Doctor Answers 16

No Fish Oil Before Facelift Surgery

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In my cosmetic surgery practice in New York, I ask my patients to stop taking fish oils before surgery. Your doctor can provide you with a list of medications and supplements to avoid before having a facelift.

New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Better to avoid

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These have been found to increase bruising and bleeding. Better to avoid them but you should ask your surgeon for their advice.

Fish Oil & EFA Prior to Surgery

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Fish Oil & EFA Prior to Surgery - You cannot take Fish Oil or EFA before surgery as it enhances bruising significantly.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon

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Fish Oil and Facelift

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   Fish oil should probably be discontinued 2 weeks prior to facelift.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Not safe to take fish oil pre and post facelift

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Patients should be off all supplements 2 weeks prior to a facelift surgery and remain off supplements for 2 weeks after surgery.  Many over-the-counter herbal supplements interfere with a patient's ability to form a blood clot, anesthesia, and the healing process.  Continued use of such supplements will increase bruising and risk of hematomas.  

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 155 reviews


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It is certainly best and in your interest to stop fish oi and efa before and after a facelift. These types of medication will increase your risk of bruising and hematomas

Sandy Sule, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon

Can One Safely Take Fish Oils and EFA Pre and Post Facelift Surgery?

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No! There are many medications and foods that should be avoided before and immediately after facelift surgery including FISH OIL and EFA. We provide a list of things to avoid that will thin the blood, that is interfere with blood coagulation, before surgery. We want to limit bruising and avoid hematomas.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Omega 3 fats can Cause Bleeding with Surgery

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Short answer: NO !

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.These are available through our office so if you are having problems finding them give us a call .

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.

Fish oil before a facelift?

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Definitely not. Fish oil, omega 3, flax seed oils reduce your ability to form a blood clot, thus cause increase bleeding. This can be very hazardous for a facelift patient. The result can be bleeding under a skin flap and resulting scarring or deformity. None of the above should be taken for at least two weeks before cosmetic surgery of any kind. These are valuable nutrients, but not before surgery. 

Avoid anything that prolongs blending time such as aspirin, Advil, Aleve, ibuprofen, vitamin E, multivitamins with E, salmon, garlic capsules, or herbs prior to surgery. Procedures can be very challenging for your surgeon when patients are bleeding excessively. This is a great question about an important issue. Thank You.

Face lifts and supplements

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They increase the risk of bleeding.

Fish oil with its omega-3 oils and other essential fatty acids are good for our over all health.

But they increase the risk of bleeding. I ask all my patients if possible to stop all over the counter supplements for 2 weeks before/after surgery. Bleeding is a serious face lift complication and I don't want my patients at increased risk.

But if there is a medical need for the supplements or if a patient wants to take the risk, I will still do the surgery since the risk is low. Hope this helps - 


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.