Why do I have to stop taking herbal supplements before surgery?

I have to go for surgery to remove a breast lump (not known what it is yet) & I noticed in my surgery package it says to stop taking all medications including herbal supplements 2 weeks before. Do I really have to stop taking my whole food supplement?

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7 Comments

  1. Chapina79 says:

    Yes! Alot of herbal supplements contain things that can cause the blood to thin which is NOT good when they’re gonna be cutting you open b/c that would cause you to bleed WAYYY too much causing things such as a drop in blood pressure, slow heartbeat and even a heart attack. Oh yea and might even cause you to need a blood transfusion

  2. freshbliss says:

    because they interfere with your clotting – and they make it more difficult for the anesthesiologist (you know, the guy who keeps you suspended between life and death) to keep you alive….those little things, like breathing and such.

    Seriously, those warnings came about because people were dying on operating tables – and they figured out the causes after the fact.

    They are telling you that to make it easier for them to keep you alive.

    So please, pretty please, stop taking them…..k?

  3. Some herbal supplements thin your blood, so when the doctor cuts you, your blood won’t clot and you could bleed to death.

  4. marlon_isah says:

    Yes you do. Herbal medicine, as we know come from nature and is claimed to be all natural. However, there is a good chance that the herbal medicine may adversely affect the medicines your doctor would prescribe to take before, during and after surgery. Though you may say it is natural, so what’s wrong with it? Researchers suggest that even drinking a glass of grapefruit juice would trigger a chemical reaction with most common medicines and therefore may negate or weaken the effect of the medicine. So it is best to stop taking it until your doctor advises otherwise. You may also want to ask your doctor what diet you should take before and after surgery.

    Remember, not everything that is natural is good. Some poisons are found from nature.

  5. Yes, the other two response are correct they thin your blood. Tell your doctor about any supplements that you are taking. Fish oil supplements, anything, you would be surprise what could interfere with your surgery.

  6. susandorey says:

    I can’t go off my supplement without great pain so what I do is take the supplement, with all the facts on the product to the doctor and have him/her research it to see if it’s ok to take prior to surgery. I also take it with me in the hospital because, as I said, I cannot live comfortably without it. One doctor carried this product around for about 2 hours, didn’t get a chance to check it out and then when he was releasing me from Emergency he made me wait while he checked it out because I was going to have surgery in 3 days and he wanted to advise me on what to do. Was very funny……He ended up letting me continue with it, but I have a very good reason for not going off it, but only if it is safe.

    So far I’ve been lucky, the doctors have approved, however if I was told, even after giving the doctor all the information that I should stop I would.

  7. VeggieTart says:

    Call your doctor and ask him/her. List every supplement you take, including vitamins and why you take them, and ask if it’s safe to take those. If the doctor says you shouldn’t take them, DON’T take them.

    AFAIK, no study has conclusively shown how herbs interact with other herbs or even how they interact with conventional medicine. Some herbs can interfere with clotting or interfere with medicines they give you during surgery.

    And I hope it’s nothing serious.

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