Discuss over-the-counter
medication inventory

Don’t Assume Over-The-Counter Is Step One.
So you’re ready for your hair restoration surgery and are eagerly awaiting the positive results the new look will have on your lifestyle.  
Stop.
Before you take the final step and schedule your hair restoration surgery, take a quick over-the-counter medication inventory and share the results with your surgeon so he or she has a comprehensive and accurate list of medications and herbal supplements you are taking.
According to the Consumer Products Health Care Association, 92 percent of American consumers think over the counter medications are safe and effective.  However, there are well-documented cases of OTC meds causing side effects when they interact with other medications and medical conditions.

  1. Do you use aspirin or other pain relievers to treat pain or reduce swelling?  Aspirin is also used to protect against certain kinds of blood clotting and is so common, many patients may overlook or forget they take it regularly.  However, aspirin can create excessive bleeding during surgery.  Surgeons typically will wean a patient off aspirin before a surgery to prevent complications.

  1. What herbal supplements do you take? Many herbal products are known to have cross-reactivity with prescribed drugs that can increase risk for bleeding.  Some of these include  fish oil, ginger, garlic, ginkgo Bilbao, ginseng, saw palmetto, danshen, feverfew and flaxseed.

  1. Vitamins may be counterproductive during surgery.  If you take Vitamin E in supplemental form, you should inform your surgeon.  Like aspirin, Vitamin E may increase your risk for bleeding if taken in large enough doses.  If you inform your surgeon you are taking Vitamin E, he or she will recommend you stop taking it two to three weeks prior to surgery.

Take a moment to create your own checklist of drugs, medications and vitamins and supplements you are taking and give the list to your surgeon so he or she can protect you from hidden or surprising risks.

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