Drinking alcohol after surgery: when, how much and what
Alcohol has always been identified as something that can be enjoyed responsibly. That doesn’t mean that it’s ok to drink any time you want or that there aren’t serious consequences to doing so. While doctors don’t prescribe default abstinence for the days after your surgery, they do have a lot of advice about how much alcohol is safe to drink and when.
So, how long after surgery can you drink alcohol?
Alcohol is not recommended for at least 3-4 weeks after surgery because it can cause infections or delay your recovery. If you do decide to drink, don’t go overboard; it’s recommended that you limit yourself to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men until you’re out of the woods.
- Alcohol and anesthesia don’t mix
The anesthetic used during surgery is designed to prevent pain, not necessarily to make you feel extra-carefree and relaxed. People who drink alcohol while their body is recovering from the effects of the anesthetic can become very intoxicated and nauseated. Doctors call this “anesthesia hangover.” Only your doctor can tell you if it’s safe to drink alcohol after your surgery, but most surgeons recommend avoiding drinking for at least 48 hours (two days) after the procedure.
It’s important to remember that everyone’s body recovers differently and there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how long after surgery can you drink alcohol. You should always consult with your doctor about your specific situation before imbibing.If your doctor prescribes any sort of medication or painkiller following your surgery, it might mask some of the signs of being drunk. That means you could drink more than you should and not even realize it. So be especially careful about drinking after surgery if you’re taking medication.
- When should I stop drinking?
Doctors recommend that you stop drinking alcohol when your doctor says it is ok. If you plan on continuing to drink regularly, talk with your doctor ahead of time about proper nutrition and what to do if you feel sick or injured after drinking. Remember that most doctors don’t like their patients to drink at all right after surgery; they tend not to recommend it.
- What are the risks?
There are a few risks associated with drinking alcohol after surgery: slowed healing time, increased chance of infection, and problems with your medications. Alcohol can also interfere with your sleep, which is essential for healing. If you have any questions or concerns, talk to your doctor before you drink.
As with any decision you make about your health, it’s important to weigh the risks and benefits of drinking alcohol after surgery. If you’re not sure whether it’s safe for you, speak with your doctor to get their advice. In most cases, however, moderate alcohol consumption shouldn’t cause any problems as long as you’re sticking to the guidelines above.
It takes about 3-4 weeks for alcohol to completely leave your system, so if you’re planning on having surgery in the near future, it’s best to abstain from drinking altogether. That way, you won’t have to worry about any potential complications and can focus on healing.
The bottom line: Drink alcohol cautiously and in moderation after surgery, and always check with your doctor to find out what’s safe for you. And remember, the effects of alcohol can be greatly amplified if you’re taking any medications. So be especially careful and take it easy when you first start drinking again. When it comes to drinking alcohol after surgery, there are no hard and fast rules. Every person heals differently, so it’s important to consult with your doctor to get their specific advice about whether or not you can drink safely.