Why Supplements and Surgery Don’t Mix!

Many clients wrongly assume that taking vitamins and supplements do not classify as taking medication – “They’re just multivitamins, just supplements for gym, they’re organic, they don’t count as a medication right?” Actually, they do count! Supplements in the form of tablets, capsules, powders or liquids, are not to be taken 2 weeks prior to surgery.
– Read on to find out more

Supplements are a form of medication

Many people planning to undergo plastic surgery fail to inform us and their medical practitioners of their vitamin/supplement intake (who would think that taking a multivitamin could jeopardise surgery?) It is very important that you inform not only your surgeon, but CosMediTour via our Online Assessment Form or direct email, of all vitamins, supplements or herbal medications prior to surgery. This is for your own safety – which is our number one priority and to avoid any delays to your procedure. Medication includes ALL vitamins, Fish Oils (or similar), Vitamin E, sports supplements, protein powders, fat burning powders and drinks, and so on.

These supplements ARE a form of medication despite them being herbal or natural or any other label that could make you think otherwise, they have an effect of your body and can delay or prevent you from having surgery. We would hate to send you all the over to Thailand for surgery to have the procedure cancelled or delayed due to the increased risks. To ensure you have the safest possible recovery, it is imperative that we know what you are putting into your body.

Here are some of the commonly taken vitamins and supplements that may interfere with your surgery:

Any diet pills designed to control appetiteDong Quai
Fish oilFeverfew
Garlic / GingerEchinacea
Vitamin E & CGinseng
Any blood thinners such as Aspirin, Motrin AdvilValerian
FlaxseedPre workout and protein powders

If you are taking something that is not on this list, please check with your CosMediTour Client Manager.

Why you need to stop taking supplements before surgery

Did you know: Taking fish oil and certain other drugs/supplements can thin your blood, causing excessive bleeding and possible problems with clotting during and post surgery.

Different supplements contain added ingredients, which have the potential to interfere with your medication required for surgery or affect your body’s reaction to surgery.

The most important reason we may ask you to discontinue taking vitamins leading up to your surgery, is due to the risk of drug interactions and the thinning of your blood. During and after your surgery, you will receive a number of medications, such as anesthesia, pain medication and antibiotics. Certain vitamins can alter the effectiveness of these medications. This can also create issues during your recovery such as severe post-surgical bleeding (due to blood thinning), decreased chances of blood clotting and increased inflammation and increased blood pressure.

What happens if you have been taking your regular vitamins, supplements or medication leading up to your surgery?

If you are taking any form of medication – prescription or over the counter, you MUST inform CosMediTour prior to your surgery. Many patients are unaware that some medications, including herbal or organic drugs contain anticoagulants, which causes blood thinning.

Pre operative tests will be conducted prior to surgery. If it is discovered that you have been taking any medication, vitamins or supplements that may affect your liver thyroid, contain anticoagulants or if any test results show an unbalanced result due to medication/supplements taken prior, your surgery may be delayed, postponed to a safer time or cancelled due to the increased risks. We would hate for this to happen to any of our clients and unfortunately, any changes to travel plans due to this will be at clients own cost.

You should cease taking any medication at least 2 weeks prior to surgery as well as informing CosMediTour and your surgeon.


We would advise to quit all supplements two weeks prior to your plastic surgery procedure. And If in doubt just ask your Client Manager 🙂

Further Reading:

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Written by Katrina Tilbrook

Marketing Manager at CosMediTour |CosMediTour is an international cosmetic surgery company and medical tourism facilitator, with offices on the Gold Coast in Australia, Bangkok and Phuket in Thailand and Cape Town, South Africa.

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