Natural herbal supplements are supposed to help boost our immune systems, give us more energy and make us generally healthier. However, many of these "harmless" supplements could cause dangerous side effects during plastic surgery, reports a study in Februarys Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). In fact, the study found approximately 55 percent of plastic surgery patients, compared to 24 percent of the general public, take supplements but often do not tell their surgeons.
"When patients are asked about the medications they are taking, many do not mention medicinal herbs because they assume that they are safe," said ASPS member James Bradley, MD, study co-author, University of California, Los Angeles. "What many unsuspecting patients dont know is that the natural herbs they are taking may cause serious complications during and after surgery."
All 55 percent of plastic surgery patients who used herbal supplements took at least two different supplements and at least one on a daily basis. The most popular herbal supplements were chondroitin (18 percent), ephedra (18 percent), echinacea (14 percent) and glucosamine (10 percent).
Other common supplements taken by patients in the study that may cause dangerous side effects included gingko biloba, goldenseal, milk thistle, ginseng, kava and garlic.
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