Supplements and Surgery

What supplements, vitamins, herbs, foods and ect do I need to get off of before surgery? What supplements help after surgery?

Doctor Answers 4

Herbal medications and plastic surgery

A majority of otherwise healthy individuals currently are regularly taking herbal medications. This may be with multivitamins and or the usual heart or blood pressure etc medications. I myself regularly take glucoseamine and multivitamins. Although many associate these herbs with being more natural with less side effects than pharmaceutically manufactured prescription medications that is not actually true. Especially in the high doses frequently taken these herbs can thin the blood preventing clotting, prevent healing after surgery, have dangerous interactions with medications given at surgery etc. I have personally had to cancel surgery in the middle of an operation because of bleeding that could not be stopped because the patient took goldenseal or high doses of vitamin E within a few days of surgery without telling me.

For more specifics see the linked reference

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Taking supplements can definitely affect your surgery and its results

This is an excellent question. In general, before surgery, you want to be sure you have no nutritional deficiencies (such as vitamin C, iron, etc.). You should also avoid any supplements that thin the blood (making bleeding during and after surgery more likely), especially Vitamin E, ginkgo, ginger, garlic, ginseng, fish oil, dan shen, dong quai, and echinacea. 

After surgery, I generally recommend vitamin C and Arnica Montana, which can help the healing process and reduce bruising, respectively. 

I generally provide my patients with a more comprehensive list of "good" and "bad" supplements and vitamins before and after surgery as well.

Jen Yuan Chow, MD
Pasadena Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Supplements in the Perioperative Period

Many supplements have subtle anticoagulant properties, which can be beneficial for every day life, but can introduce problems in a surgical procedure.  Therefore, I ask my patients to continue taking a multivitamin if they so desire, and stop all additional vitamin e, fish oil, ginkgo, echinaciae, st. john's wort, and discontinue any herbal teas.  Bromalin is thought to be helpful for purposes of wound healing and is found in large amounts in pineapple.  Arnica Montana can be useful for minimization of bruising, and should be started after the procedure.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Supplements and surgery

I amnot a big fan of aspecific supplements except for maybe a Multivitamin or Vitamin C. ISupplements are not well regulated and many of them have blood thinner like effects on patients.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 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.