COVID-19 Reopening Updates View Update Virtual Consultation

+1 858-638-9800

9834 Genesee Ave Suite 328, La Jolla, CA 92037

schedule an appoinment

COVID-19 Reopening Updates View Update Virtual Consultation

medications affect plastic surgeryOne of the most important things patients and plastic surgeons discuss during the pre-operative consultation is the patient’s use of medications, herbs, and vitamins. Certain products or common ingredients found in medications can increase the risk of complications during or after surgery. That is why plastic surgeons must take the time to review each patient’s medical history and review the types of medications that could potentially cause complications for cosmetic surgery patients. Here are a few reviews of how certain medicines, herbs, and vitamins can affect the patient, and some of the most common ones to avoid.

Poor Interaction with Anesthesia

Certain medications and herbs are known to react to the medicines used in anesthesia adversely. To prevent any complications during surgery, patients should avoid the following medicines before surgery:

  • Tricyclic antidepressants such as imipramine, amitriptyline, nortriptyline, doxepin, and desipramine
  • Valerian
  • St John’s Wort
  • Kava

Poor Interaction with Pain Medication

Certain medications, herbs, and vitamins may interfere with the pain pills, antibiotics, and other medicines used after surgery. Since the use of the following products can increase your risk of infection and the efficacy of your pain medication, patients must avoid:

  • Tricyclic antidepressants such as imipramine, amitriptyline, nortriptyline, doxepin, and desipramine
  • Echinacea
  • Goldenseal
  • Licorice
  • St John’s Wort
  • Kava
  • Valerian
  • Vitamin B-complex

Blood Thinning Properties

Several medications, herbs, and vitamins affect the blood and can increase your risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Patients should avoid the following medications before and after surgery:

  • Anticoagulants such as Heparin and Warfarin
  • Aspirin – Bayer and Bufferin
  • NSAIDs such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin), Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), and COX-2 inhibitors (Celebrex, Vioxx)
  • Gingko Biloba
  • Garlic
  • Ginseng
  • Fish Oils (Omega-3 fatty acids)
  • Dong Quai
  • Feverfew

Cardiovascular Effects

Patients that are taking any herbs or supplements that have a cardiovascular effect should discontinue use several weeks before surgery:

  • Ephedra
  • Garlic

Safe Pain Relief

Considering that NSAID and aspirin products should not be used during recovery, many patients want to know what medication is safe for pain relief after surgery. Acetaminophen products such as Tylenol are recommended and safe for use after surgery.

The medication lists that are featured above are by no means comprehensive. Patients should come to their pre-operative appointment with a list of medications, supplements, herbs, or vitamins they have taken in the past three years. We can then let you know if any of the products you have a history of taking could harm your surgery. We will also go over the list of medications, herbs, and vitamins that you should avoid before surgery. If you have taken any cause for concern, we will request that you halt their use for a few weeks before and after surgery. If it is not safe for you to stop your medication, you may not be considered the right candidate for surgery.

*The content in this blog is developed to spread the awareness towards plastic surgery. Our blog is not intended to serve as a replacement for an actual in-office consultation with Dr. Marin. As such, the information within this blog reflects the unique cases of our individual patients.

Comments are closed here.

Related Posts

Health Recommendations Before Plastic Surgery

Before undergoing plastic surgery, there are many health considerations and commitments that patients should make. The best candidates for any surgical procedure are those patients that...

Read More

Breast Reconstruction by the Numbers

Breast Cancer is the second most common cancer affecting women with nearly 300,000 new cases diagnosed every year - 30% of all cancers in women are...

Read More

Breast Cancer Awareness

According to the US breast cancer statistics: About 1 in 8 U.S. women (just under 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer throughout their lifetime. In 2011,...

Read More

Breast Implants and Lymphoma: Is There a Link?

In a recent publication, the FDA indicated a small risk between breast implants and a rare form of blood cancer. The type of cancer is called...

Read More

The Divorce Makeover: A Fresh Start to a New You

Divorce rates in the United States are higher than any other developed country in the world.  Statistics suggest that nearly half of all marriages will result...

Read More

Schedule an Appointment


In light of the state wide restrictions on non-essential businesses to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, we are rescheduling all of our elective appointments until the global circumstances improve. Our necessary post-operative appointments will be made, as needed, to address immediate surgical concerns such as suture removal and acute postoperative issues. All non-acute follow up appointments, fillers and Botox will need to be postponed until after the quarantine period mid April. Our office will reach out to all patients who need to be rescheduled.

We will be offering new patient virtual consultations online and via Skype that can be scheduled through our website or by emailing Also, we will offer follow-up appointments in the same manner to help manage our patients’ concerns while still respecting the need for social distancing.

We appreciate all of your understanding during these difficult times for all of us.

Stay safe,

Dr. Main and the Marin Aesthetics Team