Medications to Avoid in the Weeks before and after Plastic Surgery

Prior to undergoing a plastic surgery procedure, the plastic surgeon will usually provide a list of medications to avoid in the weeks before and after the procedure. It is important that each patient follow these instructions and abide by these warnings, to reduce the risk of complications and ensure that the body is in optimal condition for plastic surgery. While plastic surgery is generally safe, it is still important to make sure that the body is in the right condition to heal properly after the surgery.

NSAIDs and Aspirin

NSAIDs and aspirin can help to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation - three side effects that most patients encounter after surgery. These products can, however, thin the blood, thereby increasing the risk of bleeding. For this reason, NSAIDs and aspirin should be avoid for a period of time before and after surgery. Common NSAID products include Aleve, Advil, Midol, and Motrin. Common aspirin products include Alka-Seltzer, Bayer, and Bufferin.

Tricyclic Antidepressants

Many antidepressants have been linked to surgical complications, such as increased blood pressure and poor interaction with the medications used during surgery. Before undergoing a plastic surgery procedure, a doctor will usually check with the patient and the patient’s primary care physician that the patient does not take any tricyclic antidepressants. If the patient does take such medication, the patient can discuss options with their general physician. Perhaps the patient can be switched to another medication for a period of time before and after plastic surgery.

Certain Herbs and Vitamins

Some herbs can actually make it more difficult for the body to heal after surgery or can increase the risk of complications. Herbs have been known to increase the risk of bleeding and interact poorly with other medications. Common herbs that should be avoided before and after plastic surgery include garlic, ginger, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, vitamin E, and vitamin K.

Blood Thinning Medications

Blood thinning medications are the most dangerous to take before and after a surgery, as they make it more difficult for blood to clot. While this may be a beneficial for heart health, it will be very detrimental for healing after a plastic surgery, as the body needs to be able to clot blood in order to heal areas. If it cannot clot the blood at the site of the incision, the patient may lose excess blood and take a longer time to heal.

During your pre-operative plastic surgery consultation, it is important to provide your surgeon with a full list of medications that you are currently taking. To be safe, you may want to advise your surgeon of any medications, herbs, or vitamins that you have taken in the last two years. Then, your surgeon can let you know if any of these products can increase the risk of complications. Any medications, herbs, and vitamins that can increase the risk of complications should be avoided for a few weeks before and after surgery. 

To schedule a plastic surgery consultation, contact Dr. John R. Griffin.

September 30, 2014 | TOPICS: Cosmetic Surgery