Taking Vitamins Before Surgery


Spinal surgery is stressful on the body. Anyone who is having spine surgery needs to prepare his or her body for the surgery and recovery period by getting in shape, getting the proper amount of rest, and following other healthy habits. Taking vitamins are among the steps that physicians often recommend to help the body heal and recover from surgery as quickly as possible.

Back surgery patients should begin taking vitamins as far as a year in advance of surgery, if possible. A well-rounded multivitamin and mineral supplement with B12, vitamin E, and minerals such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorus are what your body needs to heal. Whole food vitamin and mineral supplements are often recommended because they are made from food rather than synthetic vitamins, and thus are easier for the body to utilize.

Vitamin C is another important vitamin to have on your pre- and post-surgery vitamin list. Vitamin C promotes healing and helps the body defend against illness, which can greatly interfere with surgical recovery. Vitamin A is another important healing vitamin. It protects cells and helps build new tissue, a vital part of surgical recovery.

Some types of vitamins, minerals and supplements should be avoided, as they can contribute to complications such as excessive bleeding. You should have a discussion with your spine surgeon about what vitamins you should and shouldn’t take as part of your early surgical planning.

Just as choosing the right vitamins can help speed recovery, so can choosing the right surgical procedure with the best outcomes. For example, spinal stenosis, slipped disc, spinal cord injury and a host of other spinal problems are often treated with spinal decompression surgery to relieve symptoms of nerve compression. In the past, spinal fusion back surgery was routinely performed in conjunction with spinal decompression to stabilize the spine, though fusion eliminates the natural, independent motion of the fused vertebrae. But today the TOPS™ (Total Posterior Solution) System, an advanced implant device, offers a surgical alternative that has been proven in clinical studies around the world to provide better outcomes than spinal fusion. So by all means take vitamins to speed your recuperation from surgery, but also make sure you are aware of your treatment options, and choose procedures that provide the best and quickest paths to complete recovery.