Due to the busy pace at which we are now forced to live our lives, many of us take alternative medicines, such as herbal supplements, to help boost our bodies or maybe just to get us through the day. However, a new study has warned that the taking of alternative medicines could seriously hinder the recovery-time of patients who have undergone cosmetic or plastic surgery.
The latest issue of the Aesthetic Surgery Journal (Don’t pretend you don’t have a subscription!) has published the research findings of Dr. David Rowe and his team. These findings suggest that herbal supplements available over the counter can have harmful effects if patients continue to take them directly before and after undergoing surgical procedures. If you’re wondering whether what you’re taking is safe, then the study has listed such remedies as ginkgo biloba, ginseng and Echinacea as the types of tablets you should stop taking. If you are in any doubt as to whether you are taking something safe or not then consult your GP or your surgeon at your initial consultation. Alternative medicines may make us feel rather much better about ourselves but, if they risk hindering recovery times, then they are certainly not a viable nor wise solution in the long run. Indeed, it may seem like surgeons are being over protective, but as Rowe points out: In considering the dizzying array of supplements available, the main concerns of the plastic surgeon are interaction with other medications, cardiovascular effects, alteration of coagulation [bleeding] and sedative effects,”
It is not just alternative medicines which patients should be aware of and try to avoid; aspirin or ibuprofen are also banned for patients going under the knife. Despite these warnings, more than 40% of patients do use herbal medication in the two weeks prior to them going under the knife. The message coming out of the industry now is that this is simply not a safe nor healthy thing to do. Even if you are only undergoing a light, non-invasive procedure, you should not think yourself exempt from these rules. If there were complications in your surgery and surgeons needed to put you under General Anaesthetic, then this could become dangerous if you had been taking advised-against medication. In short, if you are concerned or confused, talk to your surgeon or to your GP they will be able to tell you whether you are allowed to keep taking the medication in question.