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Preparing for Surgery


At AMISurgery we want you to have a positive and satisfying surgical experience. Through positivity the best possible outcomes can be achieved with a quick and uncomplicated recovery. While much of those results will come at the hands of Dr. Bonheur, there are numerous things you can do (or avoid) to help achieve those goals.

Pre-Surgical Preparation

Prescription medications, over-the-counter supplements and lifestyle habits can help or hurt your surgical results. To prevent the risk of bleeding or excessive bruising and to help tissues heal after surgery, here are some management guidelines:

Medications to avoid two weeks prior to surgery

Discontinue use of any nicotine products. This includes cigarettes, cigars, nicotine gum, chews, and patches. Nicotine causes blood vessels to constrict, decreasing the amount of oxygen that is delivered to your tissues trying to heal. This is never a good thing and is one of the major contributors to healing problems after surgery.

Stop using medications containing aspirin and NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) NSAIDS include such commonly taken over-the-counter and medications as Ibuprofen, Motrin, Alleve, and Advil. These medications can affect how blood clots and can cause bleeding and excessive bruising after surgery. Be sure to read the labels of any non-prescription remedies you regularly take as many of them may contain aspirin. (e.g., Alka Seltzer) For these same reasons, stop taking Vitamin E or drinking red wine before your surgery.

Stop all herbal medications before surgery. The most common herbs used are Echinacea, Ephedra, Garlic, Ginseng, Ginkogo, Kava, St. John’s Wort, and Valerian. They may adversely affect anesthetic drugs, prolong bleeding and impair healing after surgery. While there is some debate as to which herbs have negative effects on surgery, none of them are life-saving or essential so all should just simply be stopped before your surgery.

Females: All osteoporosis drugs (e.g., Boniva) should be stopped. They have been reported to increase the risk of stroke after surgery

Medications to start two weeks prior to surgery

Begin using an Arnica supplement 7 days prior to surgery and continue for one weeks afterwards. Arnica Montana (extract of the Mountain Lily flower) is a well known naturopathic remedy that has a positive effect on bruising. It not only helps prevent some of the bruising that would otherwise occur but also that which does appear to go away faster. Arnica is available in multiple preparations; oral tablets and  topical gels and are available for sale in our office.

Begin a multivitamin supplement at least two weeks, or more ideally one month before surgery. Vitamins and minerals, combined with a diet high in protein, provides the nutritional elements needed for good wound healing.

Restrain from eating and drinking 8 hours prior to surgery

This is the most important criteria before surgery. It is a potential life and death issue. Food or even liquids in the stomach can be potentially vomited while being put to sleep, entering the lungs and causing a severe pneumonia or even death. For this reason, surgery is never performed without one having an empty stomach even if it is only a conscious sedation. This means even a few sips of coffee!


Elective surgery should not be a mystery. The procedures you are having are commonly done and what will occur both during and after surgery can generally be predicted. Being fully informed should make you more comfortable about what you are to experience and what the outcome of surgery will be.

Sharing this information with the person who will be taking care of you for the first few days after surgery will make the recovery period easier and less stressful to you and your support team.

Post-surgical planning

Plan for the hours immediately after your surgery ahead of time: make trips to the pharmacy and grocery store; and arrange for child care. Plan your wardrobe for the day of surgery and a few days after. Loose-fitting clothing that can be unbuttoned or unzipped down the front is best. Designate an area in your home for yourself- such as a quiet bedroom or sofa away from busy family activities. Even if you are having a minor procedure, you will still need a minimum of 24 hours to fully recover from anesthesia, and will not be up to handling responsibilities by yourself.

Rest and sleep, combined with a small meal and plenty of fluids are keys to making you feel better sooner after surgery. Fluid and electrolyte replacement is much more important than food and for that reason, Dr. Bonheur recommends you stay on a liquid diet the day of surgery and resume a normal diet the following morning, unless otherwise instructed.

Allow yourself adequate time for recovery. The biggest mistake most patients make after surgery is shortchanging time for recovery. The number one cause of postoperative pain and complications is ‘over-doing it’ on your arrival home. Plan to take it easy for a few days, and be patient. Everyone is an optimist before surgery. Many patients become a realist afterwards.

Schedule your follow up appointment. It is important that you follow up with Dr. Bonheur within 2-3 weeks of your procedure. We recommend you call the office and schedule visit. If  you need to be seen before that time simply call the office and arrangements can easily be made.