Dr. Serhan Derin, born in 1982, is a seasoned ENT specialist who graduated from Ankara University School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Kocaeli University in 2010. Dr. Derin is a highly skilled surgeon specializing in functional and cosmetic nose surgeries, including Primary Rhinoplasty, Revision Rhinoplasty, Ethnic Rhinoplasty, Septoplasty, Septorhinoplasty, Nasal Valve Surgery, and Sinus Surgery.
As the day of your nose surgery approaches, you start preparing your body for this major procedure by organizing your diet. One of the things you might wonder about is vitamin C before rhinoplasty. Should you or should you not take it prior to the operation? What considerations should you take when it comes to vitamin C consumption before nose job surgery?
If you wish to find the answers to these questions, make sure to read this article until the very end. Let us begin.
Can I take vitamin C before rhinoplasty?
According to studies and doctors, vitamin C is safe to take before rhinoplasty. Many rhinoplasty surgeons recommend taking vitamin C before rhinoplasty as it helps with collagen synthesis and, thus, healing. This is while some doctors encourage their patients to be cautious about it and suggest discontinuation before the surgical procedure.
After all, they should make the final call on your pre-op dietary as they have your full medical history and records.
Recommended vitamin C dosage before the operation
The daily recommended intake is 500-1000 mg per day based on the doctor’s prescription. After the surgery, the blood vitamin C concentration falls, and this decline continues during the initial recovery time (1). This decrease is due to the body’s increased demand for this vitamin to encounter stress and shock caused by surgical trauma. To redistribute the required vitamin C in the blood, the surgeon starts this vitamin for patients several days before surgery. The mentioned dosage helps the body function normally and heal fast.
For optimal healing effects, you can start taking daily vitamin C at least one week before surgery. You can resume taking the vitamins with the onset of wounds.
Benefits of vitamin C for rhinoplasty
Vitamin C has plenty of functions in the body. This vitamin plays an active role in collagen synthesis, therefore, it is a vital component of your body’s natural healing process. Taking vitamin C supplements has several advantages for facial plastic surgery patients including:
- Faster recovery
- Better wound healing
- Boosts the immune system
- Reduces inflammation
- Increases protein synthesis
Precautions and potential interactions
When it comes to taking a certain medication for a long period of time, you should take all the necessary precautions into consideration. Just like any other medicine, vitamin C consumption is not 100% free of risks and side effects. Here is what you have to consider while getting your vitamin C prescription:
- Allergic reactions and sensitivities
- Monitoring for any adverse effects
- Interactions with medications
- Individual variations and health conditions
- Personalized approach to vitamin C supplementation
Allergic reactions and sensitivities
Some people might show different levels of allergic reaction to this vitamin. The symptoms vary from minor inconveniences to major problems such as swellings in the face, lips, tongue, and throat and difficulty breathing. If you experience any of the above symptoms, seek immediate medical help.
If any of the following complications happen, stop taking the medication and contact your doctor.
Monitoring for any adverse effects
If you take proper doses of vitamin C, especially in the oral form, it is considered a safe supplement. Usually, the prescribed dose by your surgeon is the appropriate amount for you. Just like any other medication, high doses can cause side effects. The side effects of excessive vitamin C intake are:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach cramps and pain
- Skin redness or flushing
- Side or lower back pain (rare)
Interactions with medications
This vitamin can have interactions with some specific groups of medications. These interactions affect the drug’s functionality in the body through increased or decreased absorption or blockage of its efficiency. A list of the most common drugs to interact with vitamin C is as follows:
- Aluminum compounds
- Chemotherapy medications
- Some antiviral agents
- Cholesterol-lowering medicines
Ask your doctor about the possible interactions if you take any of the above medicines. You should discuss this at least two weeks before surgery.
Individual variations and health conditions
Some diseases and health conditions may interfere with vitamin C intake. So, before your cosmetic procedure, you should discuss your complete medical history. This helps the doctor plan the treatment plan according to your condition. In addition to that, it plays a vital role in your healing time after your cosmetic surgery. The purpose of prescribing this specific vitamin is to help you achieve the optimal level of wound healing. If it interacts with other body conditions, it can backfire, making the healing period longer and more complicated.
You should be cautious while taking vitamin C supplements if you have any of the conditions below:
- Chronic kidney diseases, especially kidney stones
Personalized approach to vitamin C supplementation
For an optimal recovery and fast healing time after your nose surgery, the surgeon will prepare a customized plan for you. This preparation for surgery also includes prescribing the proper dosage of the vitamins you are about to receive.
The surgeon decides on the vitamin C daily allowance based on your body’s condition.
Besides what we mentioned about the interactions, you should let your surgeon know if you are on a low-sodium diet or receiving iron supplements. This is because forms of vitamin C can affect their absorption and metabolism in the body.
Food sources of Vitamin C
Your doctor will prescribe vitamin C supplements on a daily basis or oral forms like tablets, capsules, and powders or, in rare cases, injections. If you wish to improve the healing process with the help of a healthy diet full of this vitamin, here are the foods rich in it:
- Citrus fruits
- Colorful fruits like blueberry, prune, fig
- Bell pepper
Doctors’ recommendations on Vitamin C
To decide whether or not taking vitamin C is beneficial for you, some things should be taken into consideration. By paying attention to the 3 most prominent factors, you can understand if consuming this supplement is good for you for the post-op recovery process. So, what are these 3 factors:
- Varied perspectives
- Consultation with your surgeon
- Weighing the risks and benefits
Let us see how each of them can help you decide.
All the pieces of information you read on rhinoplasty websites and articles are based on academic research and are fact-checked. Reading data from reliable and confirmed websites is a great help to find useful tips for proper vitamin intake not only on days after surgery but only while you are preparing for this surgical procedure.
Consultation with your surgeon
Despite everything we have mentioned so far, your surgeon makes the final call about the intake of this vitamin pre and post-surgery. Your rhinoplasty surgeon knows everything about your condition. They consider all the things beneficial for you, whether prior to the nose job or during your recovery after surgery. In case the nose surgeon finds this vitamin harmful despite the patient’s request, they will explain the consequences.
Weighing the risks and benefits
Finally, you should analyze all the information. Weighing the cons and pros of taking vitamins before surgery to make the ultimate decision. You have the surgeon’s recommendation, you know what is good and bad for you, and you know what helps you spend your healing phase comfortably.
Sometimes despite the doctor’s suggestion, you might not be willing to consume this supplement. We advise you to talk to your doctor about this as well. Explain the reasons you think taking this vitamin is not good for you ad ask for further clarification for their assistance. This can help you understand the importance of this anti-inflammatory vitamin.
How about vitamin E?
Before we wrap this article up, let us briefly talk about vitamin E intake before rhinoplasty. The present should stop taking vitamin E supplements. This vitamin can act as blood thinners. It can increase post-op bruising as well as cause complications during surgery, such as increased bleeding—the discontinuation of vitamin E at least two weeks before the nose job is recommended. Ask your surgeon about when to resume taking vitamin E after rhinoplasty, as they also have anti-inflammatory effects and will help with the healing process.
This has been our article about taking vitamin C before rhinoplasty. Now you know how to boost your immune function and about healing wounds faster using this vitamin. If you have any questions about this particular vitamin supplement, feel free to ask us. You can simply leave us a message, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
(1) Fukushima R, Yamazaki E. Vitamin C requirement in surgical patients. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2010 Nov;13(6):669-76. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e32833e05bc. PMID: 20689415.