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Alcohol Consumption before Hysterectomy

From the Pre-Op Hysterectomy Articles List

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Drinking alcohol before hysterectomyBefore my surgery, I can't have any food or drink after midnight. I can eat normally until then, but I wasn’t told anything about alcohol. When should I stop drinking alcohol before my surgery? Can I have a glass of wine the night before surgery?


Most medical professionals recommend avoiding alcohol for at least 24 hours prior to surgery. Due to recent research, some physicians suggest minimizing alcohol consumption in the weeks leading up to surgery. In fact, one study says that giving up alcohol starting 3–8 weeks before surgery will significantly reduce your chances of post-op complications.

It has long been known that chronic and heavy alcohol consumption causes bodily harm. However, even smaller amounts of alcohol can increase surgical complication risks. Research has indicated that drinking as little as two to three drinks per day can lead to higher rates of infection and complication following surgery. That amount of alcohol also slows recovery and reduces immune capacity in patients, causing them to fall victim to pneumonia, heart muscle disease, and bleeding episodes following surgery.

The most common surgical complications that may result from alcohol consumption are bleeding episodes, heart and lung complications, and postoperative infections. Alcohol use can also impact your anesthesia experience as it can change the effectiveness of the medications used. Further, it could complicate your recovery and delay healing.

Before your surgery, talk openly and honestly with your doctor about your normal alcohol consumption. S/he can then advise you regarding when to stop drinking alcoholic beverages. Additionally, knowing your specific habits can allow both your surgeon and anesthesiologist to take potentially life-saving steps for you during your surgery and recovery.


This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

05-09-2013 - 04:54 PM


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