We know aspirin interferes with blood clotting, so people go off aspirin for some period of time. But often patients don’t know that some of the other medications they are taking without a prescription again, or even with prescription may interfere. So, we have a list of over 200 medications, over the counter and prescription that are known to contain elements that would interfere with blood clotting, and we give it to the patient well in advance of the surgery and say look through this list, and if you’re taking any of these, please stop, or let’s talk about.
And we ask very specifically on our questionnaires what medicines are you taking, both prescription medications and non-prescription medications. We are trying to make sure the patient doesn’t forget or doesn’t disregard the importance of these medications that could interfere by the way not only with the bleeding, but even with the anesthesia. There are certain drugs that the anesthesiologist would be very unhappy if he didn’t know the patient were taking.
But it’s not just supplements and prescriptions. What about foods?
Well, garlic and ginger for example, when consumed in large amounts, can cause some change in clotting, yeah, so we tell people about it. We tell people those things that would get them into trouble. By the way, foods can also help us though, because papaya and pineapple, rich in an enzyme called papase which is the same thing that is in meat tenderizer, after surgery, very good, because they help digest the red cells that cause bruising. When you see a bruise it’s because the red cells in the blood have seeped into the tissues and it helps digest them.
So, you know foods can work for us, and they can also work against us. But we need to know. This is the most important thing. And this is why it’s so important to have a very complete evaluation by the cosmetic surgeon, a very complete evaluation by your personal doctor, so that none of these things would slip through the cracks. We don’t want anything slipping through the cracks.
An anesthesiologist’s worst nightmare is that the patient took a drug that the anesthesiologist didn’t know about and that drug was in the patient’s system and could interfere, sometimes significantly with a safe anesthetic.
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