Introduction So you are close to your plastic surgery date. You have seen your surgeon once or twice during pre-operative consultations that have allowed you to get a good idea of what you are doing and what to expect after the procedure. He also talked about the possible complications of surgery and how to properly prepare for the surgery day. In my practice, quite a significant number of patients looking to undergo plastic surgery ask whether it is necessary to take vitamins and minerals before or after the procedure. In this article, we will discuss natural supplements, minerals, and vitamins before and after plastic surgery. Medication before plastic surgery Even if plastic surgery is performed on healthy patients, they might be currently taking different medication such as analgesics or anti-inflammatory medicine. It is important for the patient to avoid aspirin-based medication for at least two weeks before the procedure as they might induce excessive bleeding. Anti-inflammatory medication such as Motrin and Voltaren should be avoided for the same period of time. If in doubt about your current medication, consult your doctor or plastic surgeon. Some new products or other drugs may also contain aspirin. It is up to you to check whether the medications you are taking contain it or not. Also, make it a priority to contact your plastic surgeon immediately if you ingested any of these medications two weeks prior to surgery. He might deem it as necessary to reschedule your procedure. Taking anti-flu medication before surgery is also to be avoided. You can however take certain medications safely, such as Atasol and Tylenol. They do not contain aspirin and can therefore be used to relieve pain. If you are following birth control treatment or taking any other medication for an existing health condition such as diabetes, make sure to tell your surgeon about it. Natural supplements before plastic surgery As a general rule, your plastic surgeon will advise you to avoid any natural, homeopathic vitamin products before the surgery because despite the fact that they are natural, they can still have properties that can induce excessive bleeding or cause a delay in the healing process. Keep in mind that surgery is a traumatic experience for the body. Whether yours is an elective surgery like cosmetic surgery or is performed to correct the effects of an illness or injury, the bottom line is that any surgery is difficult on the body. Even from the time before the procedure, you will notice that one of your great concerns will be how to heal and recover more quickly so you can resume your normal activities. Of course, much of the postoperative healing is to rest sufficiently. Another great part is to do light exercises that the plastic surgeon prescribes, as well as often change your body position to allow the muscles to strengthen and function normally. And finally, there is only one very important part that many people forget about: nutrition. As we have mentioned before, undergoing a surgical intervention is not a walk in the park for your body. This means you need a strong immune system that will help you go through the operation and the recovery process while avoiding unnecessary complications. We all know that nutrition is an important part of a good immune system. In fact, the foods you eat and your choice of drinks, both before and after surgery, play a huge role in how quickly you recover. Even if it might seem that taking vitamins before surgery is a good way to prepare your body for the trauma, your plastic surgeon might actually advise you the exact opposite, as in not to take any vitamins before the surgery or shortly after. It is a well-known fact nowadays that some vitamins have effects on blood clotting and excessive bleeding. Vitamin E, garlic, Ginkgo Biloba, and Ginseng should be avoided for one, preferably two weeks before the procedure is scheduled. Aside from the vitamins and supplements that can interfere with blood coagulation, we also have products that can interfere with the effects of anesthesia. Usually, these are natural supplements that aim to deliver relief from stress, anxiety and induce sleep, such as Valerian Root for example. Avoid these products for at least a week prior to surgery and make sure to discuss this issue with your plastic surgeon. However, there are some supplements and vitamins that your plastic surgeon might recommend before the surgery as they have positive effects on wound healing and reducing the swelling. These are vitamin A and C and Arnica Montana. Keep in mind that any intake of medication or natural supplements, even in the form of infusions, should be discussed in detail with your plastic surgeon. I usually advise my patients to continue with these vitamins or at least vitamin C and Arnica Montana for a week or two after the surgery, if not more. Arnica has proven to be amazing in helping reduce inflammation, and vitamin C is a good antioxidant that will help with the healing process. Preparation before plastic surgery is just as important as the healing process. To make sure you have a fast recovery, try these tips: Take supplements After surgery, the body has different needs to sustain the healing process. This means that aside from nutritious and balanced meals, you can also supplement your intake of amino acids and Omega 3 fatty acids. However, research has shown that omega 3 acids might be related to excessive bleeding, so make sure to check with your plastic surgeon whether you are allowed to take supplements or not. Take 1000 mg of vitamin C per day Many experts say we should take between 500-1000 mg of vitamin C per day as it is a great boost for the immune system and a reliable anti-oxidant fighting against the damage done by external factors. Vitamin C is essential for wound healing after surgery as it is involved in collagen production. This means that unsightly scarring might be avoided with a good dose of vitamin C taken daily. Fiber supplements It is common knowledge that most patients will experience constipation after surgery. To avoid this and to allow your metabolism to regain its functions as soon as possible, you can try fiber supplements if you know you are not getting enough fibers from your meals. Make sure to drink plenty of water when taking fibers, otherwise the constipation might get worse. Go for iron-enhanced drinks and snacks Bleeding during surgery might deplete the iron reserves in the body, this is why it is important to try supplementing your diet with iron. There are multiple sources of iron, among the most common being spinach, red meats, drinks with added iron, and also protein snacks. Drink plenty of water Keeping hydrated is essential after any type of surgery. More than the benefits we all know, water will keep your bladder working, hence helping you avoid potential urinary infections that can occur after surgery. Have regular, light meals Healthy, balanced and regular meals are a thing you should try before and after your surgery. Heavy meals can have a negative impact on the body’s system, and this is something you want to avoid. Conclusion Nutrition before and after plastic surgery is important to have a fast and uneventful recovery period. To make sure you are on the safe side, make it a priority to discuss with the plastic surgeon all medication, natural supplements, vitamins, and minerals you might be taking before the procedure is scheduled. Your plastic surgeon will advise you to stop taking certain supplements, especially the ones containing garlic, vitamin E, and valerian roots as they can cause blood issues such as excessive bleeding or blood clots and also interfere with anesthesia. However, certain supplements and vitamins such as vitamin A, C, and Arnica Montana can certainly prove beneficial if taken before and after plastic surgery. As a precautious measure, check the labels on the products carefully before administering them and contact your plastic surgeon if you notice any abnormal effects. Vitamin C is a great antioxidant that will boost your immune system. Arnica Montana will help decrease the swelling and inflammation that can occur after plastic surgery, and Vitamin A is essential for the production of collagen, hence a great help for wound healing.