Why is it dangerous to drink alcohol pre and post op?

Alcohol is consumed for many reasons, to relax after a stressful day, to celebrate an event or even just to have fun. However, consuming alcohol before or after a cosmetic procedure can often be dangerous. Here are the reasons you may not be aware of as to why you should not drink before or after surgery:


Reasons to not drink before a surgery


two drinks of alcohol

Alcohol dehydrates your skin


When alcohol is consumed in large amounts or over a long period of time it can cause your skin to become dry. This may result in flaking, itchiness or cracking of the skin. This is not good during a procedure as it will affect the look of the scars after a procedure like a tummy tuck or breast enlargement. This is because the dry skin will make it harder for the surgeon to close the wounds. This may cause more prominent or unappealing scarring.


Alcohol causes your blood to thin


As many may already know drinking thins the blood. In moderation, this is good because it can prevent blood clots which can be fatal. However, having thinner blood during surgery is not good. This is because nearly all invasive surgeries will involve small amounts of blood loss. But if your blood is thin the blood loss may be more severe. This may also make it harder to prevent any unexpected bleeding.


Alcohol affects the way the anaesthetic and sedatives work


 Nearly all of our procedures here at Centre for Surgery involve the use of anaesthetic and or sedatives. Using recreational drugs or drinking alcohol prior to the procedure will cause the medication to not work as expected. This means the patient may feel pain or may not be relaxed which is key during a procedure.


Reasons to not drink after a surgery


wine glasses

Drinking can increase swelling


Drinking alcohol widens your blood vessels which can cause swelling. This may cause complications post procedure. For example, if you have a tummy tuck and you drink after the procedure this will cause the area to swell causing pain on and around the wound. The increased swelling can result in an extended recovery time.


Your post-procedure medication may not be able to be mixed with alcohol


Medications such as antibiotics, antidepressants and painkillers are usually not allowed to be mixed with alcohol. Mixing the medication with alcohol may cause side effects such as fainting, headaches, vomiting, nausea and drowsiness, to name a few. We always prescribe antibiotics and painkillers after a procedure so we highly recommend staying away from alcohol for at least two to three weeks after the procedure.


It will delay healing


Alcohol will thin your blood which may affect your healing. This is because it can cause prolonged bleeding or an infection. It can also affect your immune system making it harder to fight off a possible infection.

Here at Centre for Surgery, we recommend staying away from alcohol for more than three weeks before the procedure and at least three weeks after to ensure. This makes the procedure and healing to run smoother.

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