Preparing for surgery involves several essential steps, including discussing your health history and current medications with your surgeon or medical provider. This is especially crucial because certain medications can have an impact on your body’s ability to coagulate blood, potentially leading to complications during and after surgery. Knowing which medications to stop before surgery and understanding why it’s important is vital to ensure a safe and successful surgical experience.


The importance of Medication Review!

Before any surgical procedure, it is imperative to review your medications with your surgeon or healthcare provider. This review helps them assess potential risks and make informed decisions to optimize your surgical outcome. While in many cases, continuing with your regular medications may be entirely safe, your surgeon must be aware of what you are taking, and all prescriptions should be documented in your medical record. Never self-medicate with any drugs without the knowledge and consent of your primary care physician and surgeon.

Doctor prescribing medication to patient

Why to stop some medications before surgery?

Certain medications can affect the coagulation or clotting of your blood, making it important to discontinue their use before surgery. In particular, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and blood thinners should be avoided, as they can lead to excessive bleeding during the procedure. Additionally, some supplements and vitamins can interfere with blood clotting, which may pose risks during and after surgery.

Team of surgeons performing operation in operation theater

What medications should be stopped before surgery?

Here’s a list of medications and substances to avoid at least two weeks before undergoing surgery:

  1. Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): Medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and Aleve can hinder blood coagulation, increasing the risk of excessive bleeding during surgery.
  2. Herbal Supplements: Herbal supplements like echinacea, feverfew, and ginkgo biloba may affect blood clotting and should be discontinued.
  3. Vitamin E: This vitamin can slow down the blood clotting process, so it’s advisable to stop taking vitamin E supplements before surgery.
  4. Blood Thinners: Medications like Coumadin (warfarin sodium), Ximelagatran, Clopidogrel, and Plavix should be discontinued because they are specifically prescribed to prevent clot formation.
  5. Other Medications: Some over-the-counter medications like cough syrups and cold remedies may contain ingredients that affect blood clotting. Always check the labels and consult your surgeon.


Medical consultation with your doctor!

When it comes to your health and surgical safety, open communication with your surgeon or healthcare provider is very important. Inform them about your complete health history, including all the medications, supplements, and hormones you are taking. Your surgeon or medical provider will guide you on which medications should be stopped and when to discontinue them to ensure a smooth and complication-free surgical experience.

Medicine, medication and patient treatment in clinic


Understanding which medications to stop before surgery is a critical part of surgical preparation. Avoiding certain medications that can affect blood coagulation, and ensuring your surgeon is informed about your medication history, can contribute to a safer surgical experience and better postoperative outcomes. Following your surgeon’s guidance for medication management is key to successful healing and achieving optimal results after your surgery.


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