Many patients ask us if there are any vitamins or supplements we can recommend that will speed up healing after surgery. Arnica and Vitamin E seem to be the current favorites.
A recent study showed 55% of cosmetic surgery patients use herbal medications or supplements compared to 24% of the general population.
The official word is out on many of these remedies because hard science is hard to come by. And there is a tendency to believe that these supplements are gentle and natural when many of them are quiet potent and potentially harmful if taken around the time of surgery. The non- vitamin group including Ginko, Ginseng, Ginger, and Green Tea can increase chances for bleeding after surgery. Others can affect blood pressure or heart rhythm during anesthesia or potentially react with other medications. And, these preparations are not regulated by the FDA, so you can’t be exactly sure what you’re getting. So, you should always inform your doctor of your supplement intake and generally stop these preparations 2 weeks before surgery. This is true of over-the-counter medications as well.
But, there are some recent studies that do suggest that Arnica Montana taken by mouth is effective in reducing postoperative swelling and bruising for a number of procedures including cosmetic facial surgery. This may help speed up recovery in the first week after surgery. And there did not appear to be any unwanted side effects. So, Arnica can be cautiously recommended after facial surgery.
Vitamin E, on the other hand, doesn’t have the same record. Some studies find it helpful while others find it harmful, and about 5% of people can get a nasty rash from Vitamin E cream, especially if taken in its natural form. So, we don’t recommend it.
We’ll give you lots more details about this topic during your consultation.No comments