Supplements And Surgery—A Dangerous Mix

When preparing for a cosmetic surgery procedure, it’s important to provide a thorough medical history to your plastic surgeon. Some patients feel that certain supplements aren’t important to mention during an evaluation because they are natural, but that can have dangerous consequences, according to a recent report from Michigan State University researchers. The article, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, specifically references the potential dangers of mixing medicines prescribed before and after surgery and seemingly harmless herbal supplements. For example, garlic can interfere with anti-clotting medications. These complementary and alternative medical supplements can affect candidates for aesthetic surgeries as well. “We have a long list of supplements that we want patients to avoid before surgery either because they cause bleeding or because they interfere with anesthesia,” says Independence, OH, plastic surgeon Nicholas R. Husni, MD. “It’s just safer and easier to have patients stop using all supplements two to three weeks prior to surgery—other than things like zinc and vitamin C, which we know help with wound healing.” Even something as simple as flax seed oil can put a patient at risk for a post-op hematoma, Dr. Husni adds. So it's important to be completely open with your plastic surgeon during evaluation.