Everybody I know takes nutritional supplements of one kind or another, and many people are not aware that the frequency and quantities of vitamins and supplements taken on a regular basis can have an adverse effect on the body while undergoing surgical procedures. Often I find that patients while having a clear understanding of drugs and their possible side effects, tend to dismiss vitamins and nutritional supplements as non-drugs or “natural” and therefore harmless.
Any supplements, such as garlic, ginkgo, and ginger pills, that act to thin the blood should be discontinued a week before surgery. Don’t overlook ‘natural’ diet pills, hair loss prevention supplements, and special energy drinks that may include blood thinning products.
The trend to take megadoses of some vitamins can also have a potential negative impact that minor amounts of most vitamins wouldn’t have.
Discuss with your surgeon all medicine, health maintenance medications, and supplements you take in order to rule out possible side effects and make your surgery a positive experience.