Updated: Jan 12
What No – Blood Loss
What not to eat pre-operative to prevent blood loss?
We've all heard the saying, "you are what you eat," but have you ever thought about how diet affects blood loss during surgery? Eating certain foods pre-operative can prevent over-bleeding and complications while on the operating table. In this blog, we'll be exploring which nutritional habits to avoid to keep your blood safe from unnecessary trauma.
With a bit of wit and a ton of knowledge, let's take a look at what foods not to eat before your next operation!
Eggs are not allowed to be eaten pre-operative because they contain a high concentration of Vitamin K, which is linked with an increased risk of bleeding during and after surgery. The vitamin helps to form blood clots, and therefore if too much is taken before surgery, it can lead to excessive clotting and an increase in the amount of blood loss. This can also lead to complications and an increased risk of infection. For this reason, it is essential to follow pre-operative guidelines regarding diet and limit egg consumption before an operation.
Coffee contains high levels of caffeine, which acts as a vasoconstrictor. This means that it narrows the blood vessels, leading to an increase in blood pressure and subsequently increasing the amount of blood loss during surgery. Additionally, caffeine also increases heart rate, further exaggerating the risk presented by higher blood pressure levels. As such, it is crucial to refrain from drinking coffee before surgery to minimise the risk of blood loss during the operation.
Furthermore, caffeine has a diuretic effect and can disrupt the average fluid balance, which may also increase the risk of severe blood loss. Therefore, drinking coffee pre-operatively should be avoided to prevent excessive bleeding during surgery.
Taking Vitamin E preoperatively to prevent blood loss is not generally recommended due to possible risks. Vitamin E can thin the blood, which increases the risk of excessive bleeding during surgery. It may also interact with other medications taken before or during the procedure, leading to further complications. Therefore, it is generally safer to avoid taking Vitamin E before the operation.
NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are commonly taken for acute pain relief, inflammation and fever. However, before surgery, taking NSAIDS must be avoided as they reduce the body's ability to form blood clots and increase intra-operative bleeding. In addition, NSAIDS can also cause an elevation in heart rate and a decrease in arterial blood pressure, both of which can be dangerous during surgery. Therefore, to ensure a safe and successful operation, NSAIDS should not be taken before the procedure.
Herbs and Supplements
Herbs and supplements can have an associated risk of increased bleeding during and after surgery. Many of these products contain compounds that may interfere with the effects of medications or coagulants used to control blood clotting before, during, and after surgery. Therefore, it is advised to avoid taking any herbs or supplements before surgery to reduce the risk of excessive blood loss. Additionally, some herbs and supplements can have interactions with medications used for anaesthesia or pain relief, which could also increase the risk of complications during surgery. Therefore, it is best to avoid using these products before surgery.
Sean-Jordan Baruch ©️