Herbal supplements and other homeopathic treatments have recently witnessed a surge in popularity. While many patients choose these “natural” treatments for their long term health benefits, they fail to recognize that these supplements can still pose health hazards. Like prescription medication, herbal supplements can have drug-like effects on the body. This also means they can cause negative side-effects, especially for patients undergoing surgical procedures.
Unfortunately for plastic surgeons, many patients fail to mention all of their herbal or homeopathic remedies prior to surgery, placing them at a higher risk for complication.
“Many patients don’t disclose their intake of herbs or supplements, and they are often not aware of the risk of complications, which can seriously compromise surgical outcomes and patient safety,” said Dr. Foad Nahai, MD, editor-in-chief of Aesthetic Surgery Journal.
A new book entitled “Bleeding Risks of Herbal, Homeopathic, and Dietary Supplements: A Hidden Nightmare for Plastic Surgeons?” released by researchers at Loma Linda University aims to address this very issue for plastic surgeons and patients.
Even herbs that are considered generally safe can have dangerous side effects under the wrong conditions. For instance, some herbs are capable of interacting with anesthesia or other medications commonly used during surgery, negatively affecting the operation or causing surgical complications.
Before undergoing a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure, it is essential to provide your plastic surgeon with full disclosure when it comes to your daily health routine. Some potentially dangerous herbs and supplements prior to surgery may include Chinese peony, ginko, ginger, garlic, ginseng, wintergreen and Saw palmetto.
If you are taking a supplement which may increase dangerous bleeding effects, your plastic surgeon may ask that you wash off for at least three weeks prior to surgery. Certain minimally invasive cosmetic procedures such as Botox injections may also be affected by herbal supplements or over-the-counter medications.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Prior to your consultation, make a list of all the prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as any herbal supplements you have taken in the past month. This will ensure safer conditions for your cosmetic plastic surgery procedure.
Learn more about plastic surgery in Eugene, Oregon.