Dr. Saber’s Blog

Is Alcohol Before Plastic Surgery Safe? Can I Have CBD After Surgery?

Over the past decade, the medical establishment has become more willing to discuss anxiety, insomnia, and the many ways people try to treat or cope with it. If your upcoming plastic surgery is stressing you out, CBD oil, THC, alcohol, or sleeping aids seem like a soothing idea.

But will they be a safe idea? Or an efficient one? Will they help with post-operative pain – or make your anesthesia riskier? This all depends on what you’re taking, how often you take it, and your overall health status.

And there’s no better way to remedy this than by having a frank and open discussion with your plastic surgeon before you check in at our Admissions desk.

What can you take – and what you should avoid – before surgery

Before we book the final date for surgery, we sit down with every patient and discuss any substances or other medication they’re taking. This is known as a “social history,” and it’s only meant to help ensure your safety and comfort.

If you give your surgeon and anesthesiologist the full picture upfront, we can help you determine what you can continue taking (with some adjustments on our end), what to stop for a bit, and what to avoid altogether.

Can I take CBD oil before surgery?

The short answer: yes, but tell us about it.

Almost all hemp plant-based products – from good old joints to gourmet gummies – contain either tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), or both. And either of them can affect the way your body reacts to regular anesthetic drugs.

Alcohol, CBD, THC, and Plastic Surgery

Why? Because they all affect the same brain “system,” known as the endocannabinoid system or ECS. This system is a collection of receptors, proteins, and enzymes that all affect your nervous system. Endocannabinoid receptors help regulate appetite, moods, and the sensation of pain. This is what gives CBD great potential in treating anxiety, epilepsy, and migraines.

The problem is, if we’re constantly stimulating these receptors with frequent marijuana use, we could make regular anesthetics less effective. So, if you frequently vape, consume weed edibles, or use CBD oil, and we don’t know it, we may see some problems with your pain control protocol.

Does CBD affect anesthesia? Yes, but this doesn’t mean that if you use marijuana products, then you can’t have the surgery. So many people take cannabinoids that this would be impossible. We just need to know so we can be prepared.

 What about alcohol before plastic surgery?

Although technically more socially acceptable, alcohol before surgery (or immediately after) may be a bigger issue than cannabis.

Naturally, it all comes down to how much and how often. And here we have two different side effects to consider:

First, frequent alcohol consumption can also affect the way you react to anesthesia. This happens even if you’re just having the Mediterranean “one glass of wine a day,” without getting tipsy or drunk.

Second, alcohol has an anticoagulant effect (it thins out your blood). This may be good for preventing blood clots or heart attacks, but it can be tricky during surgery.

So when to stop drinking alcohol before liposuction (or any other major surgical procedures)? Just like we would ask patients to hold off any blood thinners (such as aspirin) for a week before surgery, we will ask you to steer clear of alcohol.

With that said, I would hardly cancel a surgery just because you had a nightcap the night before your procedure. I would ask you to tell us when you check in, however. But overall – unless you have an alcohol dependency that is affecting your other organs – it’s not a huge issue.

The big no-nos: what to steer clear of before surgery

So, is there any recreational substance that would make me cancel surgery? Yes, actually: tobacco and cocaine.

Both can affect your heart rate and blood pressure. In the case of cocaine, it could even cause a stroke or a heart attack while under anesthesia. I would ask any patient to stay off them for at least four weeks before surgery – and I would cancel a procedure over this.

Smoking tobacco can also negatively impact the healing process (and is just bad for your health), so I generally recommend all my patients quit smoking before surgery — and don’t start smoking again!

Self-Medicating for post-surgical pain: Will it truly help?

Questions about surgical pain management are among the most common topics brought up by patients. First, there’s the natural fear that the pain will be unbearable. In addition, many patients now are naturally fearful of opioid use and feel that self-medicating with an alternative is a much safer option.

With that said, there’s much more to surgical pain relief than opiates. These may be useful in major surgeries, especially on the first day, but by the time we send a patient home, we will usually switch them to a combination of milder analgesics and anti-inflammatories.

THC for post-surgery pain

When it comes to THC, we now have a wealth of studies showing its pain-relieving properties are remarkably effective, especially for nerve pain – that is, the one caused by damage or injury to your nerve endings. Many patients who suffer from chronic pain find it to be tremendously helpful, too.

However, the pain you’re likely to feel after a BBL or a breast reconstruction will most likely come from your incisions or stitches. Would THC help here? Technically yes, but we don’t know enough to comment on dosages or how frequently you should take it. The FDA has not approved THC as a treatment for surgical pain, so they’re not suggesting a safe dosage either.

You’ll have prescription painkillers for the worst of your post-surgery recovery and over-the-counter medications are also effective for comfort during recovery. These medications are tested and approved.

CBD for surgery recovery

Unlike THC, cannabidiol (CBD) doesn’t have marked psychoactive effects. And while we do have some evidence that backs the effectiveness of CBD for orthopedic surgeries, the unfortunate truth is that we simply don’t know enough.

To add to the uncertainty, many CBD supplements can be inconsistent in their quality control. We have many new brands of CBD oils and tinctures that don’t contain as much CBD as they claim. Some types of tablets are also absorbed faster or slower. CBD post-surgery could have slightly unpredictable effects, so I don’t usually prescribe CBD or suggest a dose for it.

Now, if you are already taking CBD products regularly, then you can probably restart them a couple of weeks after the surgery. But I would prefer people to stick to their take-home prescription for the first few days.

Alcohol after plastic surgery

Fortunately, gone are the days when drinking a whole bottle of whiskey was the standard remedy for pain after surgery. Now we know that alcohol will actively slow down your healing process and increase your risk of complications: it acts as a blood thinner, and it overloads your kidneys. Neither is good for a body that’s actively recovering!

Nervous about plastic surgery near L.A.? Dr. Saber is here for you!

For Dr. Sepideh Saber, MD, FACS, plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures are a window into something much larger. Her empathetic and sensitive approach to healthcare sees the anxieties, wishes, and goals behind every request, whether it’s a simple filler or a more thorough body contouring procedure.

Thanks to her extensive and rigorous scientific training (which spans Stanford to New York University), she also strives to keep an open mind to the latest studies and advances. While patient safety will always be her practice’s priority, she is happy to explore and discuss the potential benefits of CBD, or to sit down and address each patient’s unique journey and medical history.

To request a consultation, call (877) 205-4100 or schedule a consultation online.

The practice of Dr. Saber is located in Encino, CA for patients throughout the Los Angeles area. We are also convenient to Encino, Woodland Hills, Sherman Oaks, Calabasas, Burbank, Glendale, Hidden Hills, Agoura Hills, Northridge, North Hollywood, Malibu, Topanga, Canoga Park, Reseda, Valley Glen, Chatsworth, West Hills, Winnetka, Universal City, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Downtown Los Angeles, Silverlake, and Echo Park.

Dr. Saber graduated from Stanford University’s world-renowned medical school and did her plastic and reconstructive surgery residency at the equally lauded University of Southern California. She then completed a fellowship at New York University in the extremely challenging and delicate disciplines of hand surgery and microsurgery.

Dr. Saber offers a more sensitive, female perspective for patients of all ages, genders, and orientations. Former patients from all walks of life have praised not only their treatment outcomes but her caring, thoughtful approach to a wide array of appearance and health-related matters.
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    Dr. Sepideh Saber, MD, FACS

    👩🏻‍⚕️ Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
    🏫 Stanford/USC/NYU Trained
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    Weekend fun! ❤️🐐
    ✨ Our beautiful patient came in for Liposuction on her upper arms.✨

She is only 2 weeks Post-Op and her results already look amazing!

To set up a complimentary consultation 


#plasticsurgeon #breastaugmentation #beforeandafter #beauty #cosmeticsurgeon #plasticsurgery #breastsurgery #losangeles #facelift #breastimplants  #lipinjections #botox #bbl #filler #breastlift #saline #chinlipo #liposuction #defined #consultation
    ✨ Our patient came in for a Tummy Tuck and removed 13 lbs of Abdominal Tissue. 

We are absolutely thrilled with our patients results. ✨

Give us a call to set up a complimentary consultation with #DrSaber who will create a customized plan for you!

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    No June gloom here 💐
    ✨ Our lovely patient came in for our Bilateral Breast Reduction procedure✨

The procedure gave her tremendous relief of back pain, neck and shoulder pain, bra strap grooving, and rashes under her breast folds. Our patient also feels much more comfortable wearing any type of clothes she likes. 

Give us a call to set up a complimentary consultation with #DrSaber who will create a customized plan for you!
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#breastimplants #breastsurgery #breastaugmentation 
#plasticsurgery  #plasticsurgeon #MommyMakeover #liposuction #tummytuck  #abdominoplasty #cosmeticsurgeon  #HourGlassBySaber #ContouredBySaber #bodybydrsaber  #drsaberpatient #SaberPlasticSurgery #honestplasticsurgeon #beforeandafter #beauty #losangeles #filler #rejuve nate
    ✨ Our patient is 4 weeks post Tummy Tuck and Breast Reduction.

Her scars are a bit fresh. Overtime they will heal and become less visible. ✨

Give us a call to set up a complimentary consultation with #DrSaber who will create a customized plan for you!
⭐️To set up a consultation:⁠
🔸 Call : (833) 215-0500⁠
🔸 info@saberplasticsurgery.com ⁠
🔸 saberplasticsurgery.com
#breastimplants #breastsurgery #breastaugmentation 
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    Thank you for the beautiful review and recommendations. I always strive to create a safe and calm experience for my patients, so glad you're pleased with your treatment. ❤️ 

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  • What patients say about Dr. Saber

    Over 16 Reviews

    I was fortunate to find Dr. Saber after researching board-certified surgeons who specialize in breast cancer reconstruction revision surgery. I knew I was in good hands from the moment I spoke with the lovely and efficient Marlene, Dr Saber's office manager. Dr Saber patiently listened to my concerns and, after examining me, explained what I could realistically expect the outcome to be from another surgery. She also explained to me that she would need to review my previous surgery notes before we could discuss a possible further surgery, which I found comforting and highly ethical. I also discussed a couple of other procedures that I would like done, including fat removal from my large upper arms that had caused me great embarrassment for several years. Dr. Saber is an excellent surgeon who is incredibly kind and genuine. She truly understands the female body and the emotional aspect of body insecurities yet, she is transparent about what can and cannot be done and takes time to discuss realistic expectations and outcomes. My breast reconstruction revision surgery will take place in the New Year, but in the meantime, I have the most fabulous upper arms that I recently flaunted in a strapless dress (something I have not done in years). Dr Saber is truly one of a kind, and I still cannot believe how fortunate I am to have found her. I highly recommend Dr Saber.

    Linda DeCarlo November 29, 2023

    I don’t have enough wonderful words to describe Dr Saber and Marlene! I had a tummy tuck done this year and from start to finish the entire experience was amazing. Marlene is always so helpful and works so hard to make every detail a breeze for you. When I had my consultation with Dr Saber I was at a point of complete agony with my body. She instantly took that stress and frustration off my shoulders! As a woman not being heard by doctors for years I left that consultation with happy tears knowing I had finally found my Dr. It was a major surgery and I felt completely zen and at peace going in because she really does make you feel that safe. I didn’t think I would ever look the way I do now! She gave me the gift of having the body I kept fighting for. I will never stop recommending her.

    Monica Prusa October 9, 2023

    I saw Dr. Saber when I broke my wrist. I ended up having to have surgery. She did an excellent job and I am healing nicely. She was very professional, but was also very kind and compassionate. I would highly recommend her!!

    Sandy Schaupp September 13, 2022

    I LOVED DR SABER!!! There are a few reasons why I chose her. One was because she’s a female Doctor that was my goal who also did a good job (which I was able to confirm with all her before and after photos) and what sold me was my safety in mind. She made me feel like I was in the best hands ever along with Marlene who coordinated everything THANK YOU LADIES! Dr Saber helped me get back the body I have always desired. I had a lot of stomach fat from weight gain and I lost weight so a lot of my weight was in my front lower and upper abdomen. Now I have a super beautiful curvy body like an hourglass after a tummy tuck and lipo she did. She understood the assignment hahaha . I’m 32 years old no kids just wanted to enjoy my younger body looking and feeling beautiful and she really took good care of me. Even after hours I had an emergency due to my fault but she was there and got back to me very quickly and I’m very grateful. I also think her work says a lot because I stopped taking pain medication on the 3rd day after surgery and was fine with very minimal pain I was able to tolerate the healing process. Highly recommend going with her I just had a wonderful experience and would do it all over again if I had too. Maybe after I have kids. Thanks Dr Saber and team <3

    STEPHANIE d July 15, 2022

    Dr.Saber is by far one of the best plastic surgeons. I love how she takes her time to explain any procedure to the patients understanding. She always makes sure to answers any and all questions.From fillers to body contours she’s the one you want.

    Katherine Melara February 15, 2022

    Dr Saber is amazing! She is caring and very informative. I went in for fillers and she explained procedure step by step. I highly recommend her and look forward to future visits.

    Amanda Vazquez December 18, 2020

    Dr. Saber was friendly, knowledgeable and professional. She took time to listen, answer all my questions and was forthright in her recommendations. Her staff was friendly and helpful. I was very happy with the results and plan on going back. If you are looking for a first rate professional experience look no further she is the doctor for you!

    T R December 18, 2020

    Dr. Saber is one of a kind plastic surgeon with a heart of gold. She is a well verse plastic surgeon that puts her patient's needs before anything else. She genuinely cares about every single patient, and her work speaks for itself. I notice every post-operative result on her Instagram (@saberplasticsurgery) the patients have this glow that radiates through. I have been going to Dr. Saber for my Botox for the past 3 years, and love the results every time. I know who I will be going to for any future plastic surgery needs, and will confidently refer family and friends to Dr. Saber for any Botox, fillers, and plastic surgery consultations.

    Rudy Garcia December 16, 2020

    I have nothing but great things to say about Dr. Saber! I am so pleased with my results from a breast augmentation she performed on me back in late June! She answered all my questions and concerns before and after my surgery. She’s very easy to get in contact with and she’s so nice. She made feel so comfortable throughout the whole process. 100/10 Lover her work!!

    Amanda Villegas October 15, 2020

    Dr Saber is hands down the best surgeon! She took her time answering my questions and explained procedure in detail. After doing liposuction six months ago, I am extremely happy with my results and I appreciate her so much.

    Marlene Cosentino October 15, 2020

    Dr. Saber is so kind and thorough with her patients! She is an amazing doctor and genuinely cars about everyone she comes in contact with. I would recommend her to anyone for any hand surgery or cosmetic procedure.

    Rachel Meach October 15, 2020