Sunday, May 08, 2005

Need for Vitamin C Pre-Op

From Cheryl, RN:

I am a registered nurse and believe strongly that Vitamin C can decrease post operative recovery time and pain. My daughter is scheduled to have a tonsillectomy on may 16 and I have been prepping her with mega c. The pre-op orders I just reviewed say that ALL vitamin and herbal supplements must be stopped 2 weeks prior to surgery.!!! ALL!!!! How ridiculous. While I understand there are some vitamins and minerals that increase bleeding times etc and should be stopped prophylactically, doesn't it seem this is a "CYA" tactic and not prudent by doctors as it would decrease the nutritional state of their patients pre operatively? What problem could Vitamin C cause for a surgical patient????/ Seems they are throwing the baby out with the bath water. I know of no reason why Vitamin C shouldn't be taken right up to and through surgery to promote rapid healing.


At 5:36 PM, Blogger Rusty Hoge said...


I agree with you completely. As I am sure you have seen first-hand on many occassions, the nutritional status of people in the hospital trying to get well is often tragic - and with tragic consequences.

How often does someone have a heart attack, get to the hospital, survive the event only to succumb to pneumonia in the following weeks WHILE IN THE HOSPITAL! I firmly believe that this situation could be reversed dramatically if hospitals would generally put 10 grams or more of vitamin C in every IV bag. Ain't gonna happen.

I am no doctor and am only giving you my eduacated opinion, but I would make sure your daughter gets mega-C before surgery and resume just as soon as possible after, preferably during, but that's obviously impossible. Don't let them throw your baby out with the bath water!


P.S. I wonder if mega-C all her life could have prevented the tonsilitis altogether?

At 5:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reply from Cheryl:

Thanks for your reply.
I am going to call the surgeon and discuss my desire to keep my daughter on Mega C pre op and post op......I will ask him what CONTRAINDICATIONS there are to Vitamin C !!! Cannot wait to hear that answer!!

As for getting it in the IV bags, I think the only way to make it happen is through patient education so that patients control their destiny and develop the habit of ASKING for what they want their care to include. I cannot imagine a physician having any valid contraindications for Vitamin C !!! If I take a multivitamin and extra C at home, I cannot imagine why they would put up a big fuss if I insisted on the same.
I won't give up, but I know most people don't want to question doctors.

As for whether it may have prevented her tonsillitis, strep may well be right. I really never recognized the antibiotic potential Vit C I have reserved it for onset of viruses like colds, flu, pre-op prep etc. My daughter has very enlarged adenoids impinging on her airway which has precipitated this procedure that will now include her often infected tonsils. Adenoids have usually shrunk to a very small size by my daughter's age of 9, but who knows if they wouldn't have if she had been on this regimin for a long time now. I suspect you have a very valid point. My older daughter (17) recently had her wisdom teeth removed and I gave her Mega C for two weeks pre-op. She came home, took ONE does of tylenol #3 and never took another pain killer. She used some ice packs for discomfort but felt no need for any further analgesics and had a remarkable (or should I say UNremarkable) recovery period.

I am about to have surgery in June on my neck where I have cervical disc herniation. I am currently taking Mega C myself !!!
I will put my family on a whole new plan for health thanks to your information. Thanks for the very valuable educational information.

At 11:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 12:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 6:31 PM, Blogger Richard A Morgan said...

I admonished a good friend prior to his entry to hospital for corrective back surgery to take plenty of vitamin C the week before the scheduled affair. He ignored my advice and contracted a streptococcus infection that nearly did him in. I again admonished him to mega-dose on Vc during his convalescence at home and again I was ignored. A month of intensive treatment in hospital finally has him mostly recovered.

One can lead a horse to water, but.....

At 7:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am also a registered nurse and recently have begun taking mega vit c for chronic sinus infection. In one day I felt better than I have in several months. I plan on continuing my vitamin regimen and educating myself on the benefits of vit c.

At 6:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am in canada and cancer patient and have just been told by my pallitive care doctor that I would not be allowed Vit C IV if I were in the palitive care unit...

At 7:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe some of you should do a litle reasearch on the negative effects of too much Vitamin C. There is alot out there and the damages of taking more than the reccommended amounts are substantial. Reaseach even says most healthy adults do not need a vitamin C supplement and can get the healthy dose thru eating properly :ie a glass of OJ. Also the antioxidant effects of Vitamin C are only found in food sources not supplements. Alot has to do with psycological aspect of taking it...I am a registered Nurse and wish people would please do a little reasearch. I hope that this info of taking too much Vitamin C will save you from getting hurt.

At 11:06 AM, Blogger AmyG said...

HEY Mrs. RAIN on their parade, anonymous "do research on taking too much c-"

How about if an adult who normally eats healthy, for the the sake of surgery alone- takes EXTRA vitamine C pre and post op just to BOLSTER their immune system and give them a headstart on recovering? How about THAT. Jeez-

I think it is a great idea and I am doing it for MY bilateral augmentation. It really couldn't hurt from MY research, and is even recommended by several plastic surgery websites. About 213 so far. Yes I have been counting.

At 11:09 AM, Blogger AmyG said...

I think taking it couldn't hurt, and FYI miss anonymous scared-to-post-your-name-by-your-BS- ( I did my research) Taking it pre and post op JUST for surgery sake when you are a relatively healthy adult, CANT hurt you. You just get better faster. Ooooooo- that sounds like it is JUST awful.

Cheese and Rice!

At 12:18 PM, Blogger chris said...

Vitamin C is water soluble and you can't overdose if you are adequately hydrated - your body will flush the excess. My husband mega dosed vitamin c preop for back surgery and recovered very well. Chris (RN)

At 11:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My wife had CS delivery about a month ago and is still now has an infection in the scar area. She went to the doctor today and wa given Vit C as well as an antibiotic. It caused me to stop and think as to why they did not give her immediately after surgery, this could have prevented the scar from becommin infected.

At 11:19 PM, Anonymous Connie A. said...

What on earth is going on? I am scheduled for a revision of my rt. artificial hip. For the first time ever, I've been told to cease taking vit. C and vit. E two weeks prior to surgery. I've had bilateral hip replacements, 2 revisions on the left, a rt. liver lobectomy due to cancer, and 2 hernia surgeries--all in the past 6yrs. This is the first time I've been told to cease taking vitamins.
I take normal amounts: 500 mg a day of C and 400 IU a day of E. I am really not liking the stopping of C, as I'm a "true believer" that it boosts my immune system. I cannot even recall the last time I had a cold, but it was over 10 yrs. ago, I know. Also, with all my surgeries and hospitalizations, I have never contracted an infection. I do intend to question this demand on my pre-op doctor visit. Just wondering why this is the new pre-surgical requirement.

At 2:19 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hey all.

Professionally I deal with Tendonitis and the elimination thereof, and often deal with people who have, or are about to, get surgery for things like Carpal Tunnel and Tennis Elbow, etc.

I just came across something about surgery recovery times being reduced by C-IV. Came across this blog while educating myself.

My fiance is an ER/ICU RN and a Functional Medicine practitioner. We've been having fun talking about this.

I was surprised by the first Cheryl's comments, I'd assume she knows by now how the hospital system works......

Also, Cheryl who is about to have disc surgery, I don't know your details, but if you haven't seen the book '7 Steps To A Pain Free Life' by Dr. Robin McKenzie, I highly recommend it.

It was one of two books that in two days got me off two months on the floor with ruptured L5-S1 (Having refused 'emergency surgery')

At 1:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thi is a responce to Chris,

You say you can't overdose on vitamin C because it is water soluble. My Grandmother was supposed to take two teaspoons of liquid vit C but read the label wrong and took two tablespoons. She ended up in a coma for a week. I don't know if she was hydrated or not.

At 2:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just left a message about my Grandmother overdosing. It was completely wrong. I just called my mother and asked her exactly what happened. My mother likes to exaggerate. She told me the story about my Grandmother when I was 8 years old. I have been scared to take vit c ever since.

After confronting my mother this is what really happened:
My Grandmother had a bladder infection. She used an entire bottle of powered vit c to make a glass of liquid. It made her really sick (no coma or near death like my mother stated when I was eight)
My Grandmother got better and her bladder infection cleared up.

At 4:03 PM, Blogger bettyhutton said...

I think the reson that it is suggested that vitamin C be stopped prior to surgery is becauuse it has an anti-coagulant effect, as do a lot of "health food" shop products such as echinacea, arnica, garlic caps, cayenne etc. You can google any supplemental item with the question "does this have an ant-coagulant effect" written after the items name and see what is documented. Aspirin certainly must be stopped two weeks prior to surgery as must fish oil caps. It is up to the individual but excessive bleeding owing to anto-coagulants such as vitamin C in tablet form (very concentrated unlike food sourced viamins) would be totally counter-productive during surgery.

At 3:05 PM, Anonymous Papaioannou said...

Hello all, very interesting information about vitamin C. I did a facelift to a patient of mine yesterday and encountered an unexplained bleeding which prolonged and made surgery more difficult. I have done surgery on this patient 3 times before in the past and had no bleeding problems. I had to perform a series of special clotting tests during surgery but the results came negative.
The day after I asked my patient once more if she took any medication or vitamins and she mentioned she had taken vitamin C 1000mg for the last 6 weeks. She had forgotten to tell me this detail prior to surgery.
Since I have encountered this phenomenon before, my recommendation to all would be to avoid the intake of vitamin C prior to surgery, since it does actually work as an anti-coagulant when high dosed, causing a diffuse and persistent bleeding of small skin vessels, which only makes surgery more difficult. Stopping intake one week prior to surgery should suffice. You can resume the day after.
Otherwise vitamin C actually does promote healing after surgery and has a very positive effect in general.

At 6:34 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Vitamin C increases intra-operative awareness, ie - the patient will feel more pain and be more aware of what is happening. That said, it is absolutely ridiculous to stop taking it 2 weeks in advance. As mentioned elsewhere, even intravenous vitamin C up to 1 pound per day will be completely back to normal vitamin C levels by the next day. Vitamin C up to bowel tolerance (could be up to 10's of grams per day) should be mandatory for all surgery patients for 2 weeks before and following surgery, but all C consumption should be eliminated on the day of the operation. Vitamin C is not an anti-coagulant incidentally and is not the reason Papaioannou's patient was bleeding. In fact it will reduce the effectiveness of anti-coagulants (which is why warfarin patients can't take vitamin C).

At 6:55 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I want to qualify my comment that Vitamin c is not an anti-coagulant. It is not technically an anti-coagulant but it does promote blood flow as indicated here

In this case it seems to provide a regulatory function rather than an anti-coagulating function.

That being the case, I suppose it could result in increased bleeding.

In any event, stopping C consumption within 24 hours will be more than adequate, but it should be taken up IMMEDIATELY after the operation.

At 6:27 PM, Blogger sensowa said...

Long back I avidly read the benefit of Vit C from the Vit- C foundation based on Dr Linus Pauling's findings , the twice Nobel laureate.
I totally agree that apart from the anticoagulating effect Vitamin C may be called a panacea to prevent 85% of the Human Diseases.
I cured asthma of my own sister with 1500 Mg of Vitamin C with B complex.

I regularly take 1000Mg of Vitamin C with E 400 B complex and Folic Acid and also 1000Mg Calcium . In the result at 66 I am with the blessing of God Almighty fit for everything like a person of 30 year old. I do not have to take Viagra .
Plz note that I stopped Vit C foe 4 days on trial basis and had acute UTI infection.
My youngest child is 5 year old .He is higly energetic and intelligent .
Assam--Dibrugarh. India

At 8:21 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I have done extensive research and found VITAMIN C at high and depending on the ailment..not only stops diseases and ailments in their tracks...but also CURES..
An infant was administered thousands of mg of this miracle suppliment and recovered from upper respiratory distress/pnemonia...within hours when ALL ELSE FAILED.
I've seen ,heard and witnesses posting results.
I have severe cervical degerative disc disease..and feel NO PAIN nor discomfort.
C is water soluble and is excreted through is needed in frequent doses every few hours in turn positive results.
I have helped many to overcome their aches , pains and more.
The proof is in the pudding! Abd is it good!
Also check vit. C for chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia along with a couple other natural suppliment.. I KNOW...because I did it! :)
FYI...There has been NO reported deaths from high dose intake of Vit C.
Now compare to the prescription side effects and death rates! Hmmmm.
Enough said.
Do your research appropriately. .
The results are phenominal!

At 3:12 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi .
I was born with a rare birth defect,they called my dad off his ship ,said they expected me to die within 3 days.A Dr from Pakistan asked if she could try something,as they had Givin up.
They repacked my guts in a silk sack,and closed me up.She took my guts out and massaged them to promote blood flow ,and put me on vit c saved my life.

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