Avoid Herbs Before Surgery

Avoid Herbs Before Surgery

Popping some herbal supplements before going on the operating table may not be a good idea.
Some popular herbs appear to prolong anesthesia, increase bleeding during surgery and cause changes in blood pressure, researchers report at the American Society for Anesthesiologists meeting in Dallas. The report is based on a survey of 979 patients about to undergo surgery. Dr. Charles McLeskey, an anethesiologist at Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple, Pa., found 17 percent took at least one herbal product.
Anethesiologists and researchers recommend patients tell their surgeons about all herbal products they use, including prescription and over-the-counter remedies. The most common herbal remedies used by patients were Gingko Biloba, Garlic, Ginger and Ginseng, which all appear to prevent blood clotting and may lead to more blood loss during surgery.
St. John’s Wort and Kava may extend the effects of anesthesia.

Herbal supplements may cause dangerous complications during Plastic Surgery
A large number of people use natural herbs for various medical problems. Although natural herbs are supposed to enhance immune system, they may prove dangerous in some situations.

A study in February’s Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), states that many of the so called harmless herbs may cause dangerous side effects during plastic surgery.

Usually when a patient is asked by a doctor about his medication before a surgery it is often assumed by the patient that these herbal products are harmless and thus fail to  mention them to the doctor.

Substances often used by patients are:-

Chondroitin is one substance which is often used to treat osteoarthritis. People using chondroitin may suffer from bleeding complications during surgery, particularly when used in combination with doctor-prescribed blood-thinning medications.

Ephedra is used for asthma and bronchitis. It is now banned in US for its complications such as raised BP, palpitation, heart attacks.

Echinacea is often used for the prevention and treatment of viral, bacterial and fungal infections, as well as chronic wounds, ulcers and arthritis. However, it can trigger immunosuppression, causing poor wound healing and infection.

Glucosamine, often offered in conjunction with chondroitin, contains chemical elements that mimic human insulin, and may artificially cause hypoglycemia during surgery.

Other common supplements taken by patients that may cause dangerous side effects included gingko biloba, goldenseal, milk thistle, ginseng, kava and garlic.