Can I drink alcohol after surgery?

drug and alcohol use

Surgery is a complex of effects on tissues and human organs performed by a doctor to diagnose, treat or correct bodily functions. Depending on the urgency, these are: emergency (to save the patient's life if needed urgently), urgent (requiring intervention within 48 hours), planned. By nature: radical, palliative, symptomatic.

The purpose of the first two types of surgery is to completely or partially eliminate the cause of the pathological process, and the third is to alleviate the condition of the patient.

Can I drink alcohol 10 days after surgery? Do I have to abstain from alcohol before surgery? How Does Alcohol Affect Anesthesia? Let's take a closer look.

Danger of alcohol in the postoperative period

Ethyl alcohol weakens the human immune system, which negatively affects the effectiveness of the surgeon’s intervention. In addition, most surgeries, including laparoscopy, are performed under anesthesia, which in combination with alcohol increases the load on the heart and blood vessels, which can lead to death.

Often, in order to prevent the occurrence of inflammation and infection in tissues damaged by scalpel, patients are prescribed (for prophylactic purposes) antibiotic therapy, which excludes the possibility of alcohol consumption. Beer is also on the list of prohibited beverages, as it causes fermentation, which slows down the healing of wounds and tissues.

alcohol consumption after surgery

After the surgical procedures, the immune status decreases, which can lead to the exacerbation of chronic diseases and the appearance of hidden pathologies.

Alcohol after surgery disrupts blood clotting, which increases the risk of uncontrolled internal bleeding, which is life-threatening.

Remember, no matter how much alcohol a patient drinks after anesthesia, depressive processes in the central nervous system always start, which can lead to confusion, respiratory failure, and hallucinations.

Alcohol thins the walls of blood vessels, destroys liver cells, irritates the mucous membranes of the digestive system, overloads the heart.

How much can you drink?

The minimum time to consume ethyl beverages is 30 days after surgery.

Abstinence from alcohol before surgery

As well as after and before surgery, alcohol is prohibited. The preoperative period is characterized by the delivery of the necessary laboratory diagnostics, including examination of urine, ECG, and patient blood. When ethyl cocktails are consumed, the results become unreliable, which distorts the true clinical picture and can lead to fatal errors in diagnosis and decision-making on surgery.

In addition, severe, severe surgeries of the heart muscle and veins are performed under anesthesia only. If the patient has severely abused alcohol a few days before the introduction of anesthesia, the effect of the drug may become unpredictable. For example, a standard dose of anesthetic is not enough, as a result of which a person may recover before the end of surgery, while others, on the contrary, receive too much of it, resulting in an overdose that leads to inhibition of bleeding. respiratory system or cardiovascular system.

To avoid the above complications, you should abstain from alcohol for at least one week before surgery.

Alcohol and anesthesia

anesthesia and alcohol consumption

Anesthesia is the temporary loss of sensitivity of tissues to anesthetics. Such drugs block the transmission of nerve impulses, which prevents signals from reaching the brain, which means that the body does not respond to irritation in the form of pain.

Local anesthesia lasts for 2. 5 hours after surgery. However, when you drink alcohol, the anesthetic effect of the drug disappears immediately, and an acute pain attack develops that cannot be quenched even with painkillers.

The situation with general anesthesia for abdominal surgery is much more complicated when the body needs to be protected from shock and pain.

The following complications may occur after recovery from anesthesia:

  • headache;
  • nausea;
  • muscle weakness or tension;
  • discomfort in the throat;
  • obscuration in consciousness;
  • drop in blood pressure;
  • hallucinogenic delusion.

Why can't you drink alcohol after anesthesia?

Such a combination can lead to critical conditions such as anaphylactic shock, nervous system disorders. The withdrawal period for anesthetic drugs depends on the type of drug, the dose, and the patient's medical condition. Usually the main part leaves the body within one day after surgery and the rest within 2-3 days.

Rehabilitation after surgery

Any surgical intervention leads to a weakening of the body’s protective functions. The rehabilitation period for those who abuse alcohol in their daily lives will be more difficult than for patients who follow a healthy lifestyle because the recovery of "alcoholized" tissues will take longer.

avoid alcohol after surgery

Suggestions after surgery:

  1. Do not eat for the first 2-3 days after abdominal surgery. You can get up in a day, gradually increasing the load, walking more. This speeds up the body’s return to its normal environment. Do not drink alcohol for another month.
  2. After coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG), eliminate bad habits, measure your blood pressure regularly, count your heart rate, determine the presence of edema, do not strain your heart (do not go to the sauna, do not plan long walks, stop strenuous physical activity). CABG does not cure coronary heart disease, it only serves as a symptomatic therapy. A bypass patient should follow a lifelong diet that limits their intake of salt, animal fats, alcohol, and carbohydrates. At the same time, the emphasis in nutrition is on protein and plant foods.
  3. After surgery on the shoulder joint and hip joint, in which the patient's cartilage and bones are replaced with artificial material, patients receive intravenous solutions, an antibiotic to maintain water-salt balance, and painkillers. To avoid negative reactions in the body, alcoholic beverages are prohibited. After endoprosthesis, physiotherapy exercises are prescribed that preclude overload of the operated leg and arm.
  4. After removing the gallbladder, do not drink alcohol for the rest of your life.
  5. Do not drink alcohol for at least 3 months after eye surgery and cataract removal. During the rehabilitation period, patients are prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that are incompatible with alcohol.
  6. After spinal surgery, the patient is prescribed painkillers, NSAIDs, which increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulcers when they interact with ethanol. In addition, alcohol reduces the effects of drugs that improve microcirculation, overloading the liver, leading to disruption of the body’s metabolic processes, which is fraught with dystrophic, degenerative changes in the intervertebral discs.

After varicocele surgery, the man should lie down on the first day. The movement can start on the second day. Walking increases blood flow and prevents constipation. To relieve the pain, apply a cold compress to the sore spot for 15 minutes.


Surgery on any tissue and organ always leads to the appearance of postoperative edema. During this period, the consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited. The fact that alcohol speeds up blood circulation, which can increase swelling, can worsen the condition of fresh stitches. In addition, ethyl alcohol reacts negatively with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory drugs. As a result, the organization may behave in an unusual way.

The period of abstinence from alcohol consumption is at least 10 days before surgery and 1-6 months afterwards. However, in some cases (when removing the gallbladder) a lifetime ban is imposed on the consumption of strong drinks.