What should I avoid 7 days before surgery?

Answered by Jeremy Urbaniak

Before undergoing surgery, it is important to avoid certain medications and substances that can affect blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding during and after the procedure. Here is a comprehensive list of things to avoid seven days before surgery:

1. Blood Thinners: It is crucial to discontinue the use of blood thinners like Plavix, Pradaxa, Eliquis, and Aspirin at least seven days before surgery. These medications can interfere with the blood’s ability to clot, leading to excessive bleeding during and after the procedure. However, it is essential to consult with your healthcare provider before stopping any prescribed medication.

2. Anti-inflammatory Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Midol, Nuprin, Pamprin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, Anaprox), and diclofenac (Voltaren) should be avoided as they can increase bleeding. These medications can also interfere with the body’s natural healing process, so it is best to avoid them before surgery.

3. Herbal Supplements: Many herbal supplements, such as ginkgo biloba, garlic, ginger, ginseng, and St. John’s wort, can have blood-thinning effects. It is crucial to stop taking these supplements at least seven days before surgery to minimize bleeding risks. Herbal supplements can interact with anesthesia and other medications, so it is important to inform your healthcare provider about any supplements you are taking.

4. Vitamins: While vitamins are generally good for overall health, certain ones can affect blood clotting. It is advisable to avoid any multivitamins or individual vitamins that contain high doses of vitamin E or omega-3 fatty acids, as they can increase the risk of bleeding. However, it is essential to discuss this with your healthcare provider, as some vitamins may be necessary for pre- or post-operative care.

5. Celebrex: Celebrex is a specific type of NSAID called a COX-2 inhibitor. While it is less likely to cause bleeding compared to other NSAIDs, it is still advisable to discontinue its use before surgery. However, always consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice.

It is important to note that the above recommendations may vary depending on the specific surgery, individual health factors, and the advice of your healthcare provider. Therefore, it is crucial to have open and clear communication with your surgeon or anesthesiologist regarding your medications and supplements before surgery.

In addition to medications and supplements, it is also important to follow any pre-operative fasting instructions provided by your healthcare team. This typically includes avoiding food and drink for a certain period before surgery to reduce the risk of aspiration during anesthesia.

To summarize, it is essential to avoid blood thinners, anti-inflammatory medications, herbal supplements, high-dose vitamin E or omega-3 supplements, and Celebrex at least seven days before surgery. Always consult with your healthcare provider for specific instructions based on your individual circumstances.