Plastic surgery results and herbs; Really?
Your plastic surgery results can be affected by the medications that you normally take. During the pre-operative period, myself and my staff will review with you the medications that you are currently taking. The purpose of doing so, is to make sure that you stop taking any “medication to avoid” for the appropriate amount of time prior to your Facelift, Mommy Makeover, or Rhinoplasty. When informing my staff about your medications, it is essential that you not only mention any and all prescription medications, but that you also mention all herbs or herbal medications (and any over the counter medications) that you take.
A recent article studied well known herbal products that can contribute to high blood pressure (J. Jalil, et al. Herbal Products That May Contribute to Hypertension. Plastic Reconstructive Surgery, Vol 1, Number 1, January 2013, p168). Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, affects over 65 million Americans. Management of hypertension prior to, during and following plastic surgery procedures is becoming increasingly common. Although most patients are very good about controlling high blood pressure with medications prescribed by their internal medicine or family doctors, many do not realize that also taking some herbal remedies can exacerbate their high blood pressure problem. Here are some of the more common herbs mentioned in the study:
Arnica: Arnica is commonly taken around the time of surgery and is known to help reduce swelling and bruising. However, it extrememly high doses Arnica can potentially have cardiac, intestinal and muscular side effects, including blood pressure elevation.
Bitter Orange: This herb contains two adrenergic agents, and when consumed at very high doses or in combination with caffeine can increase blood pressure by as much as 10mmHg.
Blue Cohosh: This herb contains glycolides and alkaloid compounds that can cause spasm in the small arteries in the heart.
Ephedra: This herb has been commonly used in weight loss formulations in the past. The FDA removed this medication from the market because of its association with hypertension, heart failure and death.
Ginko: This herb contains ginkolides, which inhibit platelet-activating factor and may contribute to low platelet counts, and bleeding disorders, including operative bleeding.
Ginseng: Ginseng is ofter taken to reduce stress and increase vitality; however it can also increase blood pressure and should be stopped for at least 7 days before surgery.
Guarana: Guarana contains purines such as caffeine and theophylline which are known stimulants.
Licorice: At larger doses, licorice root can raise blood pressure, and raise blood sodium (salt) content and lower potassium content.
Pennyroyal Oil: Ingestion of this substance can elevate blood pressure, elevate pulse rate and result in a generalized rash.
Scotch Broom: This herb contains alkaloids which has been used to help regulate heart rhythm in congestive heart failure patients. However, it can cause severe high blood pressure.
Senna: This compound is used for weight loss as it stimulates intestinal motility. However, regular use (especially at high dose) can lead to potassium depletion, high blood pressure and circulatory failure.
Southern Bayberry: At high doses, this herb can have mineralocortitoid type action leading to high blood pressure.
St. John’s Wort: This herb is commonly used to treat depression and anxiety. However, side effects include hypertension (or even hypertensive crisis) from the monoamine oxidase activity, when foods containing tyramine are taken concurrently.
Yohimbine: This medication, taken for erectile dysfunction, can cause an increase in blood pressure, as well as anxiety.