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Supplements to Avoid Before Surgery

Question:
What supplements should I stop taking before surgery?
Supplements to stop before surgery - operating room
Answer:
There are a number of supplements and herbs that can interfere with anesthesia or increase the risk of bleeding, cardiovascular events, or other complications during and after surgery. Always tell your doctor and surgeon about the supplements you take; unfortunately, an estimated 70% of patients do not. For information about specific supplements to avoid before surgery, see the full answer >>

Learn More About Supplement Safety:



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COMMENTS

Ellyn17461   January 9, 2019
My teeth would bleed terribly when I went to the dentist for cleaning. Since avoiding the 81mg aspirin and fish oil the day of the visit, I have had NO problem. I take ginger, turmeric, glucosamine and chondroitin daily and do not stop them. I have had 2 outpatient surgeries in 2018 and did stop all the supplements that you mention for them.

Louis17453   January 9, 2019
I've performed anesthesia for thousands of surgical patients. I cannot quote you any hard facts from the medical literature on nutriceuticals and risks of peri-operative complications (mostly because there aren't a lot of hard facts on the subject). But, like with the investigations of the effects of fish oil supplements on surgical bleeding risk, I feel that very few of the products mentioned, when used responsibly, have any significant medical/surgical risks that would require stopping their use pre-operatively. There are exceptions of course, e.g., ephedra and other stimulants (which shouldn't be taken in the first place!). But, given that almost all supplements can be done without for a while, and given the pre-operative policies of most surgeons and anesthesiologists, it's probably best simply to stop your products pre-operatively as requested. Louis

Peter17445   January 9, 2019
Thanks so much for this - I have a pre-op appointment today and I take a boatload of supplements, many of which are on this list!

ConsumerLab.com   January 9, 2019
Hi Peter - Glad to hear this is helpful for you, and we wish you well with your surgery!

Brenda16160   November 5, 2017
I have never been asked in any pre-op appointment about supplements. I knew about the ones that are taken for inflammation but I've never stopped my omegas. Interesting.

Brenda16158   November 5, 2017
I have never been asked in any pre-op appointment about supplements. I knew about the ones that are taken for inflammation but I've never stopped my omegas. Interesting.

Richard11077   July 14, 2016
Eight days before routine hernia surgery I was surprised when the nurse reviewing my meds and supplements told me to stop taking CoQ10 immediately.


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This CL Answer initially posted on 9/13/2013. Last updated 12/11/2019.
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