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Aesthet Surg J. 2012 Mar;32(3):332-46. doi: 10.1177/1090820X12438913.

Bleeding risks of herbal, homeopathic, and dietary supplements: a hidden nightmare for plastic surgeons?

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Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA 92354, USA.


The utilization of complementary and alternative medicine has increased tremendously in the last two decades. Herbal products, homeopathic medicines, and dietary supplements are extremely popular and are available without a prescription (which likely contributes to their popularity). Despite their "natural" characteristics, these remedies have the potential to cause bleeding in patients who undergo surgery. The high use of these supplements among cosmetic surgery patients, coupled with increasing reports of hematomas associated with herbal and homeopathic medicines, prompted the authors to conduct a comprehensive review focused on bleeding risks of such products in an effort to raise awareness among plastic surgeons. This review focuses on 19 herbs, three herbal formulas, two herbal teas, and several other supplements that can cause bleeding perioperatively and postoperatively. In addition to being aware of such adverse effects, plastic surgeons must adequately screen all patients and educate them on the possible dangers associated with these treatments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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