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Can I Drink Before or After my Spine Surgery?

  • Category: Back Surgery
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: DR. HAMID ABBASI
Can I Drink Before or After my Spine Surgery?

For every surgical procedure, there are a set of pre and post-operative instructions you should follow. These instructions vary depending on the performing surgeon, but there are some standard recommendations that apply to most spine surgeries. One of the most common questions patients have regarding their pre and post op instructions is whether or not they can drink anything before or after their procedure. In this article, we will answer that question and talk about the potential drinking restrictions your surgeon may put in place before and after your spine surgery.

Drinking Water & Non-Alcoholic Fluids

Obviously the human body needs water to survive and function well, but fasting is usually required in the hours leading up to a procedure. The specific amount of time varies, but usually it’s recommended that you stop drinking water several hours before your surgery. The reasons for this are various. Most importantly, the patient’s stomach should be as empty as possible going into a procedure to avoid the risk or regurgitation during surgery.

During your recovery period, you should drink plenty of fluids. Water, juices, and the like are important for keeping you hydrated and boosting your body’s internal healing system.

Drinking Alcohol Before & After your Procedure

The rules and recommendations for drinking alcohol surrounding your procedure are a bit different. As far as pre-op recommendations go, patients are usually restricted from consuming alcohol for at least 24 hours prior to their procedure (ideally longer than that). Alcohol thins the blood, which can increase surgical risks during a procedure.

You will also likely be taking pain medications during your recovery period. Many of these meds – whether they’re prescription opioids, or over the counter NSAIDs – can interact negatively with alcohol and cause significant health problems. As a result, it’s generally recommended that you keep alcohol consumption to a minimum while taking these medications. Talk to your doctor about the specific painkillers you are taking and whether or not alcohol consumption is sanctioned.


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