Questions? Call (816) 286-4126
Matt Hlavacek, MD, DDS
Jason Baker, DDS



Common supplements and cosmetic surgery

March 20, 2014, 7:51 am

common supplementsDoes your daily routine include taking vitamins or supplements? If you answered yes and are considering cosmetic surgery, please read on. While many supplements will have no negative impact on your procedure, others may put you in danger if taken around the time of your surgery or treatment.

Research on supplements and cosmetic surgery

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University reviewed the charts of 200 patients undergoing cosmetic procedures and found that approximately half of them used supplements of some type. About 20 percent of those patients regularly used supplements which could potentially have dangerous effects when combined with cosmetic or other surgical procedures. Another study by researchers at Loma Linda University discovered that many patients accurately report over the counter and prescription medication use but dramatically underreport use of supplements which further increases the risk of serious surgical complications. The supplements in these studies were primarily considered herbal, homeopathic, or naturopathic in nature.

Common supplements of concern when considering surgery

While many supplements are safe for day-to-day use, these two studies compiled a list of the products which are most likely to cause negative effects in relation to cosmetic and other surgeries. If you are using any supplements of any kind, please be sure to inform Dr. Hlavacek and the staff at Kansas City Surgical Arts during your consultation, but be particularly sure to mention the following:

  • Ginko
  • Ginseng
  • Wintergreen oil (methyl salicylate)
  • Saw palmetto
  • Chinese peony
  • Garlic or ginger
  • Bilberry
  • Bromelain
  • Fish oil or flax seed oil
  • Methylsulfonylmethane
  • Selenium
  • Vitamin E

Adverse effects of combining supplement use and cosmetic surgery

Of the supplements reviewed, researchers noted that the most common associate risk was increased bleeding due to the blood thinning nature of many of these items. Some supplements are more likely than others to increase risk of dangerous bleeding, and many cause increased risk of bruising at injection and incision sites as well. Some patients also are at risk of adverse medication interactions when combining supplements with other medications or with anesthesia. Typically, stopping use of such products two to three weeks prior to surgery, and waiting to resume them until cleared by the surgeon are sufficient to avoid these risks.

How to improve your cosmetic surgery outcome by disclosing your use of supplements

If you are planning to undergo any type of cosmetic surgery, your journey will begin with a consultation with Dr. Hlavacek. During your consultation, Dr. Hlavacek and his staff want to ensure that you have all of the information you need to make informed choices about your procedure and care. The consultation is a two-way street in terms of communication. In order for Dr. Hlavacek to provide you with the best, most accurate information, and to tailor your surgical plan to your needs, it is important for you to disclose all of your medications, including supplements and herbs, even if you don’t believe they will have an impact on your procedure.

Prior to your consultation, take a few minutes to make a list of all of your medications — both prescription and over-the-counter, as well as herbs, vitamins, and supplements. Be sure to include dosages and how frequently you take each item. During your consultation, Dr. Hlavacek will review your list and advise you as to whether or not you need to suspend use of any of these items. You will also be advised about when you might resume taking these supplements or medications.

What’s next?

If you are ready to schedule a cosmetic surgery consultation, call Kansas City Surgical Arts today at 816-286-4126. Not only are we here to guide you through your cosmetic surgery journey, but we also want to ensure your health and safety by addressing any and all concerns you may have along the way.