Plastic surgery can come with a lot of prep, like making arrangements for your ride home and purchasing supplies to assist in the healing process. When this preparation is rethinking your supplements and daily vitamins. While these things do not cause harm to a healthy individual, even herbal supplements can thin the blood or react with anesthesia drugs.
It is important to tell your physician about every medication and supplement you take before your surgery so they can advise you which ones are safe to continue, and which ones should be discontinued ahead of surgery. These are generalized guidelines, so make sure to talk to your physician, to make sure you are all ready for your big day!
The most common supplements we see that thin the blood are ginkgo biloba, garlic, and turmeric. This does not mean you need to avoid these as spices in your food! Just stop taking the highly concentrated supplement versions a minimum of ten days before your surgery. Other vitamins to avoid are vitamins E, C, and K, which can increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery.
Another supplement to avoid is fish oil/omega-3 fatty acids. These supplements can act as an anticoagulant and interfere with blood clotting, increasing your risk for post-operative bruising.
Some other types of supplements can interfere with how anesthesia works or make it more unpredictable for your anesthesiologist. To ensure safety during surgery, make sure you stop taking St. John’s wort and valerian a minimum of ten days in advance.
Some herbs, such as Rehmannia or Reishi, will cause immunosuppression. These herbs can weaken the immune system, which may make it more difficult to fight off infection after surgery.
In Addition to Supplements
Patients should also avoid alcohol and smoking before surgery. These substances can impair wound healing and increase the risk of complications.
Safe Supplements to Help with Bruising
To reduce post-operative side effects, like bruising and swelling, certain supplements can give you a boost. At Capizzi MD, we include arnica tablets with every patient’s surgical package. We advise beginning to take the arnica two days before surgery, and until the bottle is empty.
Arnica montana is a popular homeopathic remedy for bruising and swelling. While scientific evidence is limited, our patients note that this care plan has reduced the amount of swelling and bruising that occurs in comparison to other procedures at other practices.
It is important to talk to your surgeon about any supplements you are taking before your surgery. They will be able to advise you on which supplements to avoid and whether any changes to your diet or lifestyle are necessary.