Herbal remedies, Food supplements and Surgery

A lot of people today take some type of nutritional supplement. Unfortunately some of these products can be dangerous around the time of surgery.

Many people think that because the label says “natural” it also means safe. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Many of the “natural” remedies and supplements may cause problems at surgery like:

  • Interaction with medicines used in anaesthesia and affect liver.
  • Increase the effects of anaesthetics and may slow the recovery.
  • Decreases the amount of anaesthetic needed.
  • Lower potassium blood level.
  • Low blood sugar levels.
  • Bleeding or excessive bruising as some of them have anticoagulant effect.
  • Increase the risk of blood clots in the legs.
  • Skin irritation.
  • Affect healing and cause thick scars.


Let it be noted that some herbal remedies do not clearly describe their contents on the label. This fact makes us thinking that we may face unpredictable side effects during and after surgery.

No matter what remedies or supplements a patient uses, he has to stop using them for two weeks before and two months after surgery.



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