The Dangers of Medications before Surgery

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Standard pre-operative protocol requires that you fill a medical history form before surgery. In most cases, especially for medical tourists, this form needs to be filled out 2-3 weeks before flying out to your destination country so your surgeon can advise you on what to do, what to avoid, and ultimately, have a background of your current health status.

One very common field you would notice on medical history forms is the part where you are asked to list down medications, supplements, herbs, and basically anything you are currently taking. Most of the time, patients take this in stride, not realizing how important it really is for their safety and recovery.

Certain innocent looking vitamins, supplements, and even herbs can actually cause your surgical trip to go haywire by reacting to the anesthesia, causing too much bleeding, causing delayed wound healing, and many other possible complications that could have actually been preventable had the pills been stopped on time before surgery, or had the surgeons and anesthesiologists been informed well.

For instance, Vitamin E, a very popular vitamin and anti-oxidant that probably half the world population is currently taking at any given period, is actually a mild blood thinner, which can increase the risk of bleeding during surgery. Same is true with other herbs, even green tea, can cause blood thinning to some patients. Certain medications such us prolonged and constant use of sleeping pills, can have a bearing on the effect of certain anesthesia medications in the body, or what we call drug interaction which can lead to unpleasant incidents on the table.

Now, we do not want to scare patients away thinking it’s too risky to have surgery. The reality is, surgery is very safe, provided your surgeons and anesthesiologists are well informed about your health condition so necessary precautions and actions can be made for your safety and for the success of your surgical vacation.

At Yoskarn Clinic, we provide patients with a list of medications, supplements, and herbs that should be stopped before surgery, but we still highly encourage writing down everything on the medical history, because the more your surgeon knows about you, the more your surgery and recovery will run smoothly. 

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