Why Can’t I Drink Green Tea Before Having Surgery?

green tea bufordGreen tea has long been touted as a go-to drink for boosting antioxidants and nutrients in the body, helping to improve brain function, lower risk of infection, and even shed inches from your waist. But did you know that indulging in this healthy hot beverage before surgery in Denver can negatively impact your healing and introduce risks during your cosmetic surgery procedure? So put down the cup at least 10 days before surgery because this powerful brew can:

  • Interact negatively with anesthesia and other medications. The compounds in green tea can react with certain medications, causing problems such as accelerated heart rate and dangerous blood pressure increases. In fact, you can never be fully certain how a health supplement might affect your surgery or healing, which is why it’s so important to talk to your surgeon about any supplements or medicinal foods that are part of your health routine.
  • Influence behavior of other medications. Green tea may reduce or overstimulate the efficacy of certain medications. For instance, green tea puts moderate stress on the liver, so combining it with other medications with a similar effect, such as high doses of acetaminophen, can have dangerous results.
  • Affect your body’s ability to heal from surgery. Green tea has been shown to slow blood clotting, which can introduce complications during a surgical procedure and increase your risk of losing too much blood. Slow clotting can also increase the chances of having postoperative complications and lengthen your healing time.

What else should I avoid?
Green tea isn’t the only culprit. Several widely encouraged vitamins and healthy supplements can be harmful if taken less than a week before surgery. A range of anti-inflammatories should be avoided because they can slow healing of the internal and external sutures commonly associated with cosmetic procedures.

More common foods and supplements to look out for before and after surgery:

  • Vitamin E can cause excessive bleeding, which can significantly interfere with healing.
  • Vitamin C can delay closing of the blood vessels, which can complicate surgery.
  • Multivitamins should also be discontinued due to their high levels of vitamins E and C.
  • In addition to vitamins C and E, patients are encouraged to stop taking vitamins K, B, and all herbal supplements.
  • Any weight loss or fat burning supplements should be avoided for at least two weeks before surgery.
  • Fish oil capsules and fish high in Omega 3’s can increase bleeding; conversely, lean red meat counteracts blood thinning.
  • Alcohol, caffeine, aspartame, and MSG should all be avoided leading up to a procedure.
  • Refrain from taking blood thinners, such as aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

It’s also important to carefully consider what to eat when you’re healing. Easy to digest, protein-rich foods are perfect for the first several days after your procedure. Throw some avocados and berries into the blender for a great post-op smoothie that packs a healing punch with monounsaturated fats and anti-inflammatories. Stay away from saturated fats, trans-fats, and refined sugars to further promote proper healing.

Surgical dietary recommendations differ from the standard nutritional advice we hear and read for good reason. It’s critical to follow both pre- and post-surgery rules and to communicate openly with your surgical staff for smooth sailing during surgery and optimal healing afterwards.

We like to work closely with our patients to ensure safe and successful outcomes. We’re happy to provide you with clear, easy to follow nutritional guidelines as you get ready for and recover from surgery. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to schedule a consultation.