Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Can I drink before my surgery?"

ZocdocAnswersCan I drink before my surgery?


In two days, I am having a tooth extraction. The night before the surgery is my brother's birthday, and we were all going to go out downtown and have dinner and some drinks. We are not planning on doing anything too extreme, but I will probably have three or four drinks during the course of the night. Is it all right to drink the night before the surgery? It is planned for ten o'clock the next morning, so it is not like I will be drinking just before going in. I will probably be home by ten or eleven that night, so it should be about twelve hours from the party to the surgery. Is that long enough, or do I need to leave more time? Would it be all right to have just one drink with the meal and then skip going out to the bar with everyone afterwards?


Good to hear that you are thinking about your surgery the next day and looking to optimize your chances at an uneventful and excellent recovery. While I am able to speak in some generalities, specifics will need to be discussed with your surgeon. That is because of how much variability there is for each patient and each procedure that is being performed. In addition to your general health and your history with anesthesia, specific characteristics of who you are will weight into the best advice for you. This obviously makes it impossible to answer your question specifically, and so you will need to speak with your doctor. It is likely that he or she will suggest moderation the night before surgery. How this is interpreted between you and he will again depend on many factors, but it is important to determine what is right for you in your situation so that the surgery can proceed in a safe fashion. Alcohol can interact with many medications, and some of these may need to be adjusted based on your drinking history. Please speak with your surgeon about your question before your surgery so that you can be safe during surgery and heal well after.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.