FRIDAY, July 26 (HealthDay News) -- About half of patients take
herbal and other supplements before undergoing cosmetic facial
plastic surgery, according to a new study.
Many of these supplements can put patients at risk during
surgery and they should stop taking them at least two weeks before
their procedure, Dr. Bahman Guyuron and colleagues at Case Western
Reserve University advised.
The investigators examined the medication lists of 200 patients
scheduled for cosmetic facial plastic surgery -- such as a facelift
or nose job -- and found that 49 percent of the patients were
taking at least one type of supplement.
Overall, the patients were taking 53 different types of
supplements. The average number of supplements was nearly three per
patient, but one patient was taking 28 different supplements,
according to the study in the July issue of the journal
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
Older patients and women were most likely to be taking
supplements, according to a journal news release.
One-quarter of the patients were taking vitamin and mineral
supplements only, most commonly multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium
and vitamin B. Twenty-two percent were taking animal- and
plant-based supplements -- most often fish oil -- in addition to
vitamins and minerals. Just 2.5 percent of patients were taking
animal- and plant-based supplements only.
Thirty-five patients were taking supplements linked with an
increased risk of bleeding, such as bilberry, bromelain, fish oil,
flaxseed oil, garlic, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), selenium and
In addition to the supplements linked to bleeding risk, other
popular supplements with potential harmful effects include
echinacea, ephedra (ma huang), ginkgo, ginseng, kava, St. John's
wort, valerian, feverfew and ginger.
The patients in the study were told to stop taking supplements
two to three weeks before surgery.
"These high-risk supplements . . . are quite commonly used and
the surgeon must elicit a complete history in order to avoid the
known adverse consequences of supplement use on surgical outcome,"
the researchers wrote.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more about