Many people take vitamins and herbal supplements either once in a while, or all of the time. These “herbs” are very popular, and many media outlets such as television or Internet or magazines describe them as being totally “natural and safe.” However, research has showed that some of these herbs can cause abnormal blood pressure, heart rates, bleeding, or over-sleepiness. “Herbs” can also interfere with medications that your healthcare provider gives you. The effects of herbal treatments could cause problems if you are having surgery and anesthesia.
It is very important that you tell all of your doctors if you are taking any “over-the-counter” medications, including aspirin, herbs, vitamins, and dietary supplements.
Many orthopaedic surgeons and anesthesiologists feel that all herbs should be stopped one week prior to surgery to keep you from having any problems. Your doctor requests that you stop the following herbal treatments one week prior to surgery, as they have been proven to cause excessive bleeding*:
- Dong Quai
- Gingko Biloba
- White Willow Bark (salix alba)
- Devil’s Claw (harpagophytum procumbens)
- Turmeric (curcuma longa)
- Boswellia (bosellia serrata)
- Stinging Nettle (urtica dioica)
- Cat’s Claw (uncaria tomentosa)
- Omega-3 FA
- St. John’s Wort
*AAOS, August 2001