Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Herbal Products and Hypertension


Obviously, elevated blood pressure is not a patient's or plastic surgeon's best friend.  High blood pressure can lead to excessive bleeding, resulting in a hematoma or collection of blood and excessive bruising.

This could necessitate an unplanned trip back to the operating room. 

Several herbal supplements are associated with elevation of blood pressure.  Here is a partial list:  arnica, bitter orange, blue cohosh, ephedra, ginkgo, ginsing, guarana, licorice, pennyroyal oil, scotch broom, senna, southern bayberry, St. Johns wart, and last but not least, yohimbine. 

The herbal supplement business is a 6 billion dollar a year business. 

As a plastic surgeon in Fort Myers, Florida, I guess the word of the day is primum non nocere! (First, do no harm) Perhaps that should also apply to patients. And suggests it is critical for a patient to advise the physician or surgeon that such herbal substances have been ingested.

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