Part of the pre-op discussion with your surgeon and nurse should cover any medicines or supplements you’re currently taking.
Your surgeon’s pre-op assessment to find out about your health, any medicines or supplements you’re taking (and, crucially, if and when you need to stop taking them ahead of surgery) is a safety thing - so be honest! (and yes, cannabis counts)
Medicines, supplements and surgery
When you undergo any elective surgery the pre-op assessment will cover (in detail) any medicines or supplements you’re taking. It’s a safety issue because we know some medications can interfere with surgery and healing.
With medicine there’s a fairly short list of things that you would 100% need to stop taking before surgery. These include, for example, Aspirin, etc. because it thins the blood and can risk bleeding complications post-op.
With herbal supplements and vitamins there’s potentially a much broader list of things that you either should not or should consider stopping taking before surgery.
It’s kinda trickier with supplements as they’re not considered drugs by the FDA, they’re actually classed as ‘foods’. Kinda strange, I know! What’s even more tricky is that we don’t know everything about the interactions of supplements/vitamins/herbal remedies and surgery and surgical healing.
Because of this you might find your surgeon advises you to stop taking any supplements/vitamins/herbal remedies 2 weeks before your surgery, allowing enough time for your body to flush out any traces of the substances. Unless there’s any specific supplement your surgeon recommends during your post-op recovery phase (like arnica montana), you can expect to get the green light to resume taking any supplements 2 weeks after your surgery.
It is super important to be totally upfront with your surgeon about all the things (medicines or supplements, etc) that you’re taking so you get a thorough pre-op assessment, ensuring your safety before, during and after surgery.
Any advice from your surgeon about stopping and resuming medicines and supplements will be based on their knowledge and experience. It’s still super important to take on board your surgeon’s instructions and advice… remember, you should 100% trust them AND their advice.