Warning: Your Supplements May be Dangerous for Plastic Surgery

For many, taking supplements is considered part of their daily health regimen. But did you know that they may cause complications during plastic surgery? Many people know to talk to their doctor about the medications they are taking before they have surgery. But supplements, considered “natural” by most people, can oftentimes have just as dangerous an effect on surgery as medications do. They have been known to worsen bleeding and inflammation during and after surgery, raise blood pressure and alter blood sugar levels.

Many herbs, vitamins and minerals should be avoided when preparing for plastic surgery. If you are unsure of which supplements fall into this category, it is best to stop taking all supplements prior to surgery. Another option is to make a list of the supplements (along with medications) you are currently taking and consult with your doctor on which are unsafe. All supplements considered potentially dangerous for surgery should be stopped three weeks before surgery.

Supplements to Discontinue Before Surgery

The supplements listed here are unsafe to take before or during surgery, plastic or otherwise. If you don’t see the supplements you are taking on this list, you should still consult with your doctor first before continuing their use.

Supplements linked to an increased risk of bleeding during and after surgery:

  • Arnica
  • Bilberry
  • Burdock
  • Celery seed
  • Chondroitin
  • Clove
  • Dandelion
  • Dihydroepiandrosteroe (DHEA)
  • Fish oil
  • Flaxseed
  • Garlic
  • Melatonin
  • Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)
  • Parsley
  • Selenium
  • Turmeric
  • Vitamin E
  • Willow bark

Other supplements can also cause risks during surgery, including:

  • Don quai
  • Echinacea
  • Ephedra (ma huang)
  • Feverfew
  • Ginger
  • Gingko biloba
  • Ginseng
  • Goldenseal
  • Kava
  • Licorice
  • St. John’s wort
  • Valerian

How to Safely Prepare for Your Surgery

There are many ways to safely prepare for plastic surgery. The first way is to have a consultation with your plastic surgeon prior to surgery. Dr. Greenwald provides a safe, inviting atmosphere that encourages patients to ask questions and get the information they need to adequately and safely prepare for a plastic surgery procedure. Feel free to be open about the goals you wish to accomplish with your surgery, and Dr. Greenwald will give you the tools you need.

The next way would be to prepare for the time period after your surgery. Think about the recovery process. Will you need someone to take care of you during the days and possibly weeks afterwards? Before surgery is the perfect time to prepare your house for the recuperation period. Do you have a comfortable room in which to recuperate? Are your fridge and pantry stocked with healthy foods that will help, or at least not hinder, the healing process? Do you have ice packs and any doctor-approved medications? Do you have books and magazines to read or movies to watch while you recover?

Need more ideas on how to get the most out of your pre- and post-operative experience, ensuring that the surgery goes as smoothly as possible? Get all of your questions answered during a consultation with Dr. Greenwald. Schedule one today by calling (914) 421-0113.

Dr. Joshua Greenwald is a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York City who studied and trained at prestigious educational institutions including Columbia University, Emory University, and New York University School of Medicine. His keen aesthetic eye and refined surgical techniques have led him to be a top choice for cosmetic face, breast, and body procedures in NYC. His exceptional patient care has earned him the distinction of “Top Doc” by both Westchester Magazine and Castle & Connolly for over 10 years running. Dr. Greenwald is an active member of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the American Medical Association, and the Westchester County Medical Society.