Should I Stop Omega 3 Fish Oil and Balanced B Complex Before Double Eyelid Surgery?

1) Should I stop omega 3 fish oil and balanced B complex before double eyelid surgery and/or brow lift? If so, how many days or weeks before the surgery? If that's not a possibility, is it still okay to go for surgery? 2) What else should I be avoiding? 3) What should I be taking/doing to speed healing? Thank you!

Doctor Answers 9

Eyelid surgery

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Stopping the fish oil is a good idea. If you contact your surgeons office they can probably give you a list of medicines and supplements to avoid before surgery. Common things include, aspirin, alleve, ibuprofen, motrin and weight loss supplements.

Stopping supplements before surgery

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There are certain things that can cause bleeding.  Ibuprofen, aspirin, Vit.A, Vit.E.  Also may supplements can also cause bleeding. Ginkgo  Fish Oil, etc.  Ask your surgeon how long, as he/she knows what your specific procedure will entail.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

What to avoid pre-surgery

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In general you should avoid fat soluble vitamins and supplements 10 days prior to surgery, aspirin 2 weeks prior and the anti-inflammatory meds 10 days prior. There is not a problem with the B vitamins or standard multivitamins. Because of the nature of eyelid, that is it is around your eyes, you should be prudent in this. It is important for your doctor to get a good history and physical prior to the surgery including your past medical history and any sensitivities. Tell them about any over the counter meds and especially supplements and naturopathic      medicines.  We have a list of things we tell our patients to avoid which should be found at your doctors office. I also use arnica montana orally post surgery as well as copious ice. Good head elevation and vitamin C is good for healing as well as staying with quiet activities for the first week at least. 

Dietary Supplements and Surgery

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The problem with dietary supplements and surgery is that it is frequently hard to know exactly what is in many of them. Because of this, I have my patients stop everything they are taking at least 2 or more weeks before surgery and give them multivitamins designed to improve healing and not interfere with bleeding, healing, or anesthesia. I also give them Arnica Montana and Bromelain to reduce bruising. I think this is especially for Blepharoplasties and Browlifts. If your surgeon has not discussed this with you, make sure you bring it up. You definitely need to be off the Fish Oil. The B Complex may be OK if it is pure B-Vitimins, but, without knowing exactly what is in the product, it is probably better to be on the safe side and stop it too.


Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon

Supplements for surgery

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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.

Supplement Ceasation Prior To Eyelid Surgery

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While it is probably not going to affect such small surgery as in the eyelid, it is always prudent to stop all supplements weeks before surgery to lessen any risks of bleeding/significant bruising.

Omega 3, Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Vitamin E Avoidance Prior to Eyelid Surgery

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    These are probably the four most common items patients tend to be taking prior to surgery that they should discontinue.  Stopping these 2 weeks before surgery is prudent.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Pre-op medications

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It is best to stop all aspirin, ibuprofen, Vit E and all Herbal supplements for 2 weeks prior to surgery.  The  reason to to limit any potential bleeding problems in the immediate post op time frame.  Check with your surgeon

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Medications to Take and Avoid Before Surgery

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Each surgeon has a different protocol, so you should ask your surgeon prior to the procedure. This is generally what I tell my patients:

Avoid heavy lifting or strenuous activity for 2 weeks after surgery to prevent raising your blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to bleeding.



Avoid aspirin, Ibuprofen products (non-steroidal antiinflammatory

medications), fish oil, omega-3, vitamin E, and any other medications that you have been told can cause bruising and bleeding for at least 10 days before and after surgery. If you have any questions regarding specific products, speak to your surgeon or your local pharmacist.

As far as what you could be taking, Arnica and bromelain (found in fresh pineapple) have been shown to decrease bruising in some studies. If you chose one of these, it should be started the day before surgery and continued afterwards during the healing process.

Jeremy B. White, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon

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.