Instructions Before Hospital Surgery

Medications Not To Take Before Surgery

Aspirin and “Aspirin-like” products

Do not take aspirin or non-steroidal “aspirin-like” products for ten days prior to surgery.

Aspirin or non-steroidal “aspirin-like” products prevent blood from clotting properly. Taking these medications can cause excessive bruising and swelling. Medications which contain aspirin or “aspirin-like” products must be discontinued ten days prior to surgery. However, if you are taking medication under the advice of a physician please do not discontinue this medication before discussing it with your physician.

Many common over-the-counter medications contain aspirin or “aspirin-like” products and should be discontinued. These include most “cold” or “sinus” pills, headache medicine, arthritis medicine, Bufferin, Advil, Alka-Seltzer, Alleve, Dristan, Darvon, Goody’s, Ibuprofen, Indocin, Motrin, Naprosyn, Nuprin, Percodan, and many others. Tylenol may often be substituted for these products and is allowed.

Please note, even a small amount of these medications will still prevent normal blood clotting.


Anticoagulants such as Coumadin may cause adverse effects on your surgery. Please discuss the pre-operative use of such medications with Doctor Goldberg and your family physician.


Smoking should be discontinued at least two days prior to surgery.

Control of Blood Pressure

Blood pressure medications must be continued up to surgery.

It is important that your blood pressure be checked and brought under control before surgery. Elevated blood pressure can produce severe bleeding and bruising during and after surgery.

Eating and Drinking

Please do not eat or drink anything beginning at midnight before surgery. During surgery a person is at risk of vomiting and choking on any stomach contents which are present. If you eat before surgery, your surgery will be rescheduled for your own safety.


A driver should be available to bring you home after surgery.

You may have difficulty driving or seeing well enough to perform housework for several days after surgery. Please arrange for help beforehand.


Vitamin E supplements can increase bruising and bleeding. Please discontinue Vitamin E supplements 10 days prior to surgery.

Herbal Medicines

Many patients use various herbal medicines. The use of some herbal preparations can cause problems during surgery. Garlic supplements, Ginseng, and Gingko each can potentially increase the risk of bleeding. Therefore, please stop using Garlic supplements, Ginseng or Gingko at least 7 days prior to surgery.

St. John’s Wart can cause problems during anesthesia and should be discontinued at least 5 days prior to surgery. Ephedra and Kava can also cause adverse effects during anesthesia and should be discontinued at least 24 hours prior to surgery.

Echinacea is commonly used. Taking echinacea may cause wound healing problems. Please consider not taking echinacea while healing from surgery.

Not every condition is listed. Consult Dr. Goldberg if you have any questions about a condition not described here.

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