Why You Shouldn't Drink Alcohol Before Plastic Surgery

During the review of your medical history, your surgeon will ask questions about your alcohol consumption. Being honest is very important to ensure safe medical care. One of the pre-surgery guidelines you need to follow is no alcohol in the days leading up to the procedure. It is generally good to stop drinking any alcohol at least 72 hours before your surgery, and if you can start 1 or 2 weeks prior, you may reap even greater benefits.


Alcohol acts as a diuretic, which makes you urinate more frequently and can lead to dehydration. Plastic surgery itself can also cause dehydration, which makes the two a dangerous combo. Dehydration can affect your response to anesthesia and make your recovery more painful.


Consuming alcohol impacts sedative and anesthetic agents before, during, and after the procedure. You will get sedated for any major plastic surgery, and alcohol in your system can make it challenging to properly dose anesthesia to ensure a safe and comfortable surgery. Alcohol reduces your tolerance to pain, which can be a problem during your recovery. Besides how alcohol can interfere with painkillers’ effectiveness, mixing alcohol and medication can be very dangerous to your health.


Any invasive plastic surgery involves some blood loss, but alcohol increases the risks because it naturally thins your blood. If you need a blood transfusion due to significant blood loss during the surgery, this can add to your recovery time. Alcohol also reduces your blood’s ability to clot. Altogether it can lead to excessive bleeding during and after surgery. This may result in severe bruising and swelling, which delay your healing.

Drier Skin

Consuming alcohol can lead to dry skin and cracking. This can be especially challenging if you’re getting a type of plastic surgery that stretches your skin, such as a breast augmentation or facelift. It can be more difficult for your surgeon to minimize scarring when stapling or stitching dry or cracked skin together. This could lead to more visible and long-lasting scarring even after recovery.

Recovery Delays

Alcohol consumption can affect a variety of organs, including the liver and pancreas, which can interfere with your recovery. It may also lengthen your healing time and reduce the response of your autoimmune system in the case of infections.

Excessive alcohol consumption can result in the following during your recovery:

  • Infection
  • Excessive swelling and bruising
  • Larger and/or more visible scars

To take care of your health and maximize the results of your procedure, you should always follow your plastic surgeon’s recommendations.

West Coast Plastic Surgery Center provides a variety of cosmetic procedures to achieve your desired look. Call our office today at (805) 978-8545 or use our contact form to schedule a consultation.

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