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Blog / Cosmetic Surgery / The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Herbal medicines in Plastic Surgery...

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Herbal medicines in Plastic Surgery

February 2nd, 2014 Share

So-called ‘Western’ doctors are usually not trained in ‘herbal’, ‘osteopathic’, ‘naturopathic’ or ‘Chinese’ medicine.  So for the longest time, and reinforced by my traditional medicine and surgical training at McGill University and the University of Toronto, I was not a believer of the ‘Yellow Emperor Inner Cannon’ nor the Yin-Yang teachings, to name only a few.

It all started with a patient of mine who, 6-7 years ago, underwent a liposuction procedure.  She was adamant in taking some herbal medicines, all derived from roots and fruits.  And guess what!  I was very surprised at the small amount of bruising she had post-op and how quickly the small bruises disappeared.

So, slowly, my approach and views evolved.

Here are the rules to prevent excessive bleeding if you choose to have your plastic surgery with Toronto plastic surgeon, Dr. Marc DuPéré:

Rule # 1:  I have been recommending eating pineapple, kiwis and papayas for several years now and I do see a quicker recovery.  Patients start 2-3 days pre-op and continue post-op until all the bruises have recovered.  For the pineapple, the core has more of the good stuff so do not throw the heart away: blender it and add some raw sugar or honey if slightly unripe or bitter.

Fresh fruits please!  No canned or manufactured preserved fruit ‘juice’.

Now several things in the panoply of ‘herbal medicines’ are known to do the opposite:  many promote bleeding by slowing down or blocking the clotting mechanism.  Potentially good for your health, as perhaps evidenced by some of the oldest living humans found in various Asian countries, many of those over-the-counter pills, roots and powders are not recommended around the time of your surgical procedure.

Rule #2:  To minimize bruising and bleeding for your procedure, avoid ALL blood thinners – medical and herbal. And don’t forget to mention them to your Toronto plastic surgeon.  It is very important to stop them 10 days prior to treatment; you can safely restart them one (1) week post-op.

Ten (10) days prior to your surgery, you should stop all anti-inflammatories: Aspirin, Advil, Motrin, Aleve, steroids.  People on Aspirin for their hearts, stopping the aspirin should be discussed with your plastic surgeon first and with your family doctor and/or cardiologist.

Ten (10) days prior to your surgery, and with your own family doctor’s and cardiologist’s approval, you should stop all blood thinners such as: plavix, coumadin (warfarin), sub-cutaneous heparin, etc.

Ten (10) days prior to your surgery, you should stop all Fish oil supplements, Vitamin E supplements, omega-3 oil supplements.

Ten (10) days prior to your surgery, you should stop all ‘G’s: ginger, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, green tea, garlic pill.

Ten (10) days prior to your surgery, you should stop chamomile tea and chamomile candies.

My strong recommendation is to stop any other non-prescribed osteo/naturopathic or over-the-counter medicines 10 days prior to your surgery.

Rule #3:  Avoid alcohol for 3-5 days prior to your surgery, as alcohol is also a blood-thinner.

Rule #4:  Street drugs, and particularly the ‘stimulants’ (including the weight-loosing pills), can be very dangerous to you and particularly around surgery: they can promote uncontrolled bleeding, blood pressure and heart rate problems, heart attacks, strokes, and respiratory problems.

Rule #5:  Patients undergoing chemotherapy and/or immunotherapy (steroids, imuran, interleukin, etc.) should also discuss their situation with their Toronto plastic surgeon as those medications may impede their healing.

Rule #6Tylenol is safe for the odd ‘aches and pains’ before and after surgery (Tylenol is not an anti-inflammatory but is an analgesic).

ULTIMATE ruleDiscuss with your Toronto Plastic surgeon Dr. Marc DuPéré ALL medications and drugs during your initial 2 visits at the VISAGE clinics – prescribed, non-prescribed, over-the-counters, herbals, ‘natural’, etc.

By Toronto plastic surgeon Dr. Marc DuPéré