Herbal supplements may harm cosmetic surgery patients

Cosmetic surgery patients should not take herbal dietary supplements unless they have first checked with their surgeon, it has been claimed.

A report in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal claims that more than two fifths of cosmetic surgery patients take some form of herbal supplement in the fortnight leading up to their operation.

Many supplements can aid recovery, but experts are concerned that others can be harmful around the time of surgery and may also interact with conventional medicines.

These include some of the most popular supplements, such as ginkgo biloba, ginseng, garlic and echinacea.

Dr Alan Gold, president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (Asaps), said that despite the well-documented side-effects of some herbal supplements, "many patients do not fully appreciate the importance of discontinuing these treatments before surgery".

He added: "Stopping certain herbal supplements prior to surgery is just as critical as stopping aspirin, ibuprofen and many other common drugs."

The advice may be relevant to a significant number of British people as Transform Cosmetic Surgery Group recently told the Mirror that there is likely to be a 26 per cent increase in the number of women undergoing breast enlargement surgery in April compared with March.

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