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Aesthet Surg J. 2009 Mar-Apr;29(2):150-7. doi: 10.1016/j.asj.2009.01.002.

Perioperative risks and benefits of herbal supplements in aesthetic surgery.

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  • 1Department of Plastic Surgery, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Lyndhurst, OH 44124, USA.


Most medications, herbal preparations, and nutraceutical supplements have notable effects on biochemical pathways and may influence wound healing, coagulation, and cardiovascular function. They can also interact with other drugs. A large portion of the data available regarding the effects of naturopathic medicines is anecdotal. Marketing of certain products may be misleading and potentially harmful, and quality control standards are highly variable. In order to ensure quality control and standardization of products, it is prudent to work with preparations manufactured by companies that adhere to pharmaceutical (good manufacturing practice [GMP]) standards. However, many of these higher-quality products are not readily available to the public over the counter. A large percentage of patients undergoing plastic surgery use one or more herbal medications, but the disclosure of such medications to allopathic providers is often incomplete. In addition, patients may not understand the importance of discontinuing such medications before surgery. The authors review research on the possible benefits and risks of commonly used herbal medications such as arnica montana, St. John's wort, bromelain, echinacea, ginkgo biloba, ephedra, valerian, and others, focusing on their potentially positive or negative impact during the perioperative period of aesthetic surgery. Good communication with surgical patients, including the administration of a presurgical questionnaire to help identify any use of herbal medications, is emphasized.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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