What Medications Should I Stop Taking Before My Plastic Surgery?

Q:I have been taking melatonin for sleep. Is this harmful before surgery? I also take a host of vitamins and antioxidents, such as Acai and COQ10.
Should these be eliminated before surgery?  My plastic surgery is in 9 days.The Vitamin C seems to be a dilemma. I have heard not to take Vitamin C before surgery due to the effects on anesthesia.
Doctors do not seem to know the answers to this. Can you help?

A; The issue of any medications a patient may be taking before their plastic surgery is always an important consideration. Your medication issues revolve around the use of supplements rather than prescription medication based on your question. While there has been some debate about the use of certain herbal supplements (such as ecchincea and valerian root) and their potential impact on surgery, it is always best to discontinue these  beforehand, preferably two weeks if possible. Some studies have shown no negative effects but their use is optional so there is no reason to not eliminate even the most remote risk for elective plastic surgery. I know of no risk from taking melatonin on its effects on anesthesia or the surgery. Vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin, would be the safest of all supplements to take for surgery. I have never heard of any problems with it. Some suggest, because of its positive effect on collagen building, that it should be taken in high doses before surgery to help with healing afterwards.

You should ask the plastic surgeon performing your procedure these supplement questions and get his/her opinion most importantly.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana