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Ross A. Clevens, MD, FACS

How herbal products may interfere with surgical outcomes and why Ross A. Clevens, MD, FACS and The Center for Facial Cosmetic Surgery recommend patients discontinue herbal medicines at least two weeks prior to surgery.

Many herbal supplements increase certain risks associated with surgical procedures and anesthesia. Below is a list of herbal medicines and their potential complications during surgery.

Echinacea: used to boost the immune system may cause toxicity of the liver interfering with metabolism of certain anesthesia

Ephedra: used to treat asthma and bronchitis may cause an increased risk of cardiac dysrhythmias (irregular heartbeats)

Feverfew: used to treat migraines, arthritis and allergies may increase bleeding during surgery

Garlic: used in treating high cholesterol and high blood pressure is known to inhibit blood clotting

Ginkgo biloba: used to improve memory and mental alertness is known to increase bleeding during surgery

Ginseng: used to support overall health and boost the immune system, may increase anesthetic requirements and may cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)

Guarana: a stimulant found in many anti-fatigue supplements can cause cardiac complications (irregular heart beats) and increased bleeding during surgery

Kava: used to treat anxiety may increase the effects of muscle relaxants and may cause liver damage, impairing the metabolism of certain anesthetics

Licorice: used as a cough suppressant and expectorant may cause high blood pressure

St. Johns wort: used to treat depression may cause cardiac complications, increase risk of stroke, and exaggerate the effects of certain anesthetics

Valerian: used to treat sleep disorders, anxiety, headaches, depression, irregular heartbeat, and tremors may prolong the effects of certain anesthesia used during surgery

Yohimbe: used to treat impotence may cause high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, anxiety, dizziness, and sleeplessness, and may also increase anesthetic requirements.

Stay safe when undergoing a surgical procedure by advising Dr. Ross A. Clevens and your Anesthesiologist of any and all herbal medications you are taking. Discontinue use of herbal supplements two weeks prior to and after your surgical procedure.

TRUST YOUR FACE TO THE SPECIALIST Ross A. Clevens, MD, FACS is board-certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He completed his undergraduate work at Yale University and earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School. Dr. Clevens completed his residency and post-graduate Advanced Fellowship in Facial Plastic Surgery at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

A graduate of Yale, Harvard and Michigan, Dr. Clevens is Brevards only fellowship-trained and board-certified facialplastic surgery specialist. Dr. Clevens specializes in nasal, facial and eyelid plastic surgery rather than plastic surgery in general to provide his patients the best in specialized care. Your specific concerns are best addressed in detail during your personal consultation with Dr. Clevens who was judged "Best of Brevard" by the readers of Florida Today in 2001-2007.

Please contact our offices in Melbourne and Merritt Island, Florida at 321.727.3223 or 888.438.3223 today to arrange your consultation.

You may contact us via email at or visit us on the web at

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