Supplements and teas: What is ‘safe’ and ‘healthy’ to take before Plastic Surgery

Don’t make these pre-plastic surgery mistakes!

By Kathleen Lisson, CMT, CLT

Many people believe the myth that if a medicine is sold over the counter or if an herbal supplement is ‘natural,’ it is safe for them to consume, even in the days before a surgical procedure. Everyone knows that it’s important to stop smoking completely before plastic or cosmetic surgery, but did you know that some over the counter medicines and natural supplements and remedies can make surgery more dangerous by thinning the blood? Use the resources below to start a conversation with your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon about the best way to prepare for a safe plastic surgery and fast recovery.

Plastic surgeons recommend that clients STOP taking the following popular supplements before cosmetic surgery!

In this RealSelf post, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. David Reath provides a list of pills and supplements that should not be taken before plastic surgery, including diet pills, blood thinners like asprin, Motrin or Advil, vitamin E, chromium, ginkgo, flaxseed, fish oil, echinacea, saw palmetto, feverfew, kava, St. John’s Wort and valerian. Many of these supplements are not harmful to a healthy person, so it may not be obvious that they should be avoided before surgery.

Orange County Board Certified plastic surgeon Dr. Larry Nichter offers an extensive list of over the counter medicines to AVOID in the days and weeks before plastic surgery including some Alka Seltzer medications and other pain medications that thin the blood. The full list is here: and Dr. Nichter recommends consulting your pharmacist with any questions.

The San Diego area La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Center (Board certified plastic surgeons Lori H. Saltz, Johan Brahme, John D. Smoot, H. Michael Roark and Ervin Wheeler) recommends stopping green tea NSAIDs and herbal supplements before surgery. Check out their complete list of recovery tips here:

About Kathleen Lisson

As a Board Certified massage therapist with advanced training in Manual Lymphatic Drainage, I help women and men in the San Diego area reduce the tight, full, heavy feeling that comes with swelling after facelifts, tummy tucks, liposuction and other plastic surgery operations. I make housecalls! To schedule a treatment, please visit

San Diego lymphatic drainage massage after plastic surgery, liposuction. Author Plastic Surgery Recovery Handbook, Southern California Plastic Surgery Cookbook

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