Natural herbal supplements are a common dietary additive many people use in order to boost their immune system, improve their health, and give themselves more energy. But, did you know they can have serious side effects if used immediately prior to or after cosmetic surgery?
Prior to any cosmetic surgery, it’s important to discuss with specialists in plastic surgery in Raleigh, NC, all of the prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal supplements you take on a regular basis. Because herbal supplements seem like a natural additive and don’t qualify as medicine, per se, many patients often forget to mention they take them. This can have serious health consequences.
Even though they might say “natural” or “herbal” on the bottle, commonly used herbal remedies such as ginkgo biloba, ginseng, garlic, or Echinacea can lead to increased bleeding risk, cardiovascular risk, prolonged effects of anesthesia, and possible interactions with other drugs.
- Supplements that are known or suspected to increase bleeding risk include Gingko biloba, Garlic, Ginseng, Fish oil, Dong quai, Feverfew
- Supplements associated with cardiovascular risk include Ephedra and Garlic
- Supplements with sedating effects that may prolong the effects of anesthesia include Kava, St. John’s wort, Valerian root
- Supplements that can also interact with other drugs include Licorice, St John’s wort, Kava, Valerian, Echinacea, Goldenseal
A patient should halt the use of supplements for at least two weeks before and two weeks after surgery to ensure there aren’t any adverse effects. To reduce the risk for these side effects and others, it’s imperative that you are open and honest with your physician and anesthesiologist about what vitamins and supplements you may be taking.