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Can You Drink Wine After Surgery?

Can You Drink Wine After Surgery?

Staying healthy before and after any surgery is essential. It does not matter what type of surgery you have; staying healthy will ensure you get the best results.

No wine lover can resist a glass of wine. So, as you can imagine, wine enthusiasts have begun wondering if they can drink wine after surgery. However, before we get to this pressing question, let’s explore whether or not you can drink wine before surgery.

Can You Drink Wine Before Surgery?

Unfortunately, you cannot drink wine before you have surgery. This is because wine can do more damage than good, especially before surgery. Here’s a list of reasons why you should never drink wine before surgery.

Affects Anesthesiaand Sedatives

Most invasive surgeries, such as breast reduction surgery, use an anesthetic or sedative. Drinking wine could cause the medication to have a different effect.

Anesthetics and sedatives are designed to make the patient feel relaxed and doze off to sleep. Another reason anesthetics or sedatives are given is to put the patient to sleep, so they feel no pain. However, wine can cause the patient to not be relaxed during the surgery or may even cause them pain during surgery. 

Dry Skin

If you drink alcohol before surgery, it could dehydrate your skin. While dehydrated skin may not seem like a big deal, it could cause your skin to crack, flake, or become itch which can cause an issue if you have breast enlargement or tummy tuck surgery.

Dehydrated skin makes it difficult for the surgeon to close the incision. Furthermore, dry skin can also cause noticeable, unsightly scarring.

Thins Blood

Consuming wine can thin your blood. While drinking can stop fatal blood clots.

However, thinned blood is not ideal during surgery. Surgeons who perform invasive forms of surgery expect a small amount of blood loss.

However, if your blood is thin, blood loss will be greater. Additionally, thin blood may also make it more difficult for the surgeon to stop unforeseen bleeding.

Can You Drink Wine After Surgery?

Whether or not you can drink wine depends on if you had major or minor surgery. In general, you must not drink wine after surgery, especially if it is major surgery. Wine can increase the risk of surgical effects and may even affect your recovery.

Minor Surgery

Minor surgery has a different effect on the body than major surgery. Case in point: drinking wine is safer if you had surgery with minimal sedation.

You can also consume wine if your surgery had no general anesthesia and you were never hospitalized.

Other instances include short surgeries that are under 30 minutes and surgeries with minimal scar risks, such as small biopsies. Additionally, if you do not need opioid pain medications, it is safer to consume wine.

You should always ask your doctor when it is ok to drink alcohol after surgery. Generally speaking, you can drink wine the day after minor surgery, but verify this information with your doctor before drinking a glass of wine.

Major Surgery

Major surgery is a little different. In most instances, the procedure involves more work and a heavier dose of medication to put the patient to sleep. So, it’s best if you do not consume alcohol directly after having major surgery.

Blood Thinner

Blood thinning after surgery is a severe complication as it may cause infections or prolonged bleeding. Alcohol makes your immune system less effective.

It is also a blood thinner. Therefore, it could cause excessive bleeding after surgery. Wine can also cause more bleeding and swelling, which could prolong your recovery.

Doctors usually tell patients to stop taking blood thinners before surgery. Therefore, since alcohol is a blood thinner, you should not consume it after surgery.


Wine is thought to be super refreshing. However, it can dehydrate your body.

Hydration is essential to recovery. Therefore, wine can do more damage than good.

Alcohol can dehydrate your skin which can affect scarring. It could cause the surgical site to become itchy, increasing healing time.

Dehydration also affects the skin’s elasticity. Elasticity is important for breast enhancement or liposuction, so drinking wine may drastically impact your healing.


Drinking wine after surgery can cause fatigue. You need your energy to jumpstart and encourage the healing process.

You must get a good night’s sleep every night. It’s also important that you feel rested.

Drinking may affect your sleep, causing you not to have as much energy as you would if you had a good night’s rest. Yes, it may feel like you fell asleep seconds after your head hit the pillow. However, alcohol does interrupt the quality of your sleep.

Typically, people with alcohol-related disorders experience symptoms of insomnia. Studies even show that alcohol can worsen symptoms of sleep apnea. Therefore, you should avoid alcohol after surgery.

Slow Healing

Healing is essential to your recovery. Typically, drinking wine can delay healing which lengthens your recovery. Furthermore, drinking is associated with several complications after surgery, including problems healing wounds.


Drinking causes your blood vessels to expand. This expansion can increase swelling.

After your surgery, your surgeon gives you specific instructions to decrease swelling. Therefore, drinking wine could cause the opposite effect, increase recovery and even affect the final result of the surgery.


General anesthesia puts you into a deep slumber. If you are having a plastic surgery procedure, you may feel disoriented when you wake up. 

This is why physicians recommend having a friend or family member drive you home. Avoid consuming wine as it can make you feel further disoriented.

Soreness and Discomfort

Some people believe they can use alcohol to numb the pain after surgery. However, alcohol can worsen pain and discomfort. Additionally, more severe complications can happen after mixing wine and medication.

Mixing Medication and Wine

You may be given a prescription for medication based on the type of procedure you are having. You should never mix wine and medication together, whether it is painkillers or antibiotics.

Wine could cause additional side effects such as headaches, fatigue, and nausea. Wine consumption can also lead to other severe issues such as heart or breathing issues.

How Long After an Operation Can You Have a Glass of Wine?

So how long after surgery do I have to wait to have a glass of wine? Well, it depends on which physician you ask.

It’s best to wait at least 1-2 weeks after surgery. In addition to this, it’s also best to wait until after you’ve finished your painkillers or antibiotics. Remember, wine and medication do not mix.

You could be putting yourself at risk. So, if you don’t want to lengthen your recovery, wait at least a few weeks until your medication is finished before consuming wine.

Final Thoughts

Anyone who consumes wine is at an increased risk after surgery. Alcohol consumption may decrease heart and immune system functioning. Moreover, it can cause prolonged bleeding and increase your body’s stress response system.

Therefore, the less wine you consume after surgery, the better your recovery. So drink responsibly only after you’ve finished those meds!

Barbara sperry

Sunday 23rd of July 2023

if i had dilation to my esophagus after a period of time being on a soft food diet can I have a glass of red wine now and then