Plastic surgery can be a wonderful way to enhance your appearance and boost your self image. But as with any surgery, there are risks involved, and certain medications to avoid and prevent complications. Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Richard J. Brown consults with each patient before surgery to create a list of allowable medications, but certain drugs will almost always need to be avoided. Related: Why You Should Talk to Your Doctor About Your Medications Before Your Surgery Medications that contain aspirin may cause bleeding problems during and after the surgery, which would make it more difficult for even small incisions to heal. Any other blood thinners or anticoagulants would have the same effect and should be avoided for at least two weeks before and after a surgery. Herbal supplements can put patients at risk during surgery as well. Gingko biloba, ginseng, and fish oil can increase risk of bleeding, while garlic and ephedra have been associated with cardiovascular risk. Other supplements have been known to increase the skin’s sensitivity to light, which can complicate laser skin treatments. Diet pills and energy drinks, though not always considered to be medication, can interfere with some procedures. The ingredients in these have been known to cause heart rhythm problems when combined with general anesthesia, which Dr. Brown uses for many of his procedures. If you are a smoker, you will be asked to quit smoking for six weeks prior to and six weeks following your surgery, as the narcotics contained in cigarettes do not allow the body to heal itself properly. Dr. Brown provides a list of medications that must be avoided for two weeks prior to and following surgery. After your surgery you can speak with Dr. Brown and with your general practitioner about resuming medications and supplements. Related: What to Expect During a Post-Operative Appointment For questions regarding your medications and surgery, or to schedule a consultation, call the offices of board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Richard J. Brown at 480-947-2455.