ER physician Dr. Travis Stork says that an open line of communication between a doctor and patient is key, but it can also end up saving your life. Here are three things you should always let your doctor know.
#1: If you take effervescent antacids
Before a procedure, doctors will tell patients to avoid any ibuprofen and aspirin-containing products because they can act as blood thinners. Plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon explains that bleeding is the number one concern before elective procedures so they want to make sure clotting works. It turns out, many effervescent antacids contain aspirin. OB/GYN Dr. Nita Landry also says that if you accidentally take something, to be honest with your doctor so they can access the safety of still doing the procedure.
#2. If you have a belly button piercing (even if you no longer wear the ring)
Dr. Nita explains having a belly button piercing can lead to scar tissue. Anytime doctors do surgery, they may want to go in through the belly button. If there is scar tissue, it could increase the probability of damage to underlying organs. Dr. Nita clarifies that they still can do the surgery and possibly go through the belly button, but it’s nice to know beforehand so they can take proper precautions. Dr. Ordon adds that you are more likely to have bacteria with a piercing which could lead to infection so again, it’s important to inform your doctor about it.
#3. If you take nasal decongestants
Dr. Ordon explains that nasal decongestants are meant to be taken short-term. If you take them for too long the lining of the nose actually develops a dependence on the nose drops where you need to increasingly use more to keep congestion at bay. The minute you stop the drops, the blood vessels encourage and you get very congested. Dr. Ordon says he’s had people with excessive bleeding in surgery so it’s important to tell your doctor if you use nasal decongestants prior to any surgeries around the nose. The Doctors recommend weaning yourself off nasal drops before a surgery.
Dr. Ordon says nasal saline or steroid drops are not the same; anything that is just rinsing your nose is completely fine. Dr. Travis adds that this is another lesson that just because something is over the counter doesn’t mean you can take it as much as you want. Always use medications as directed.