The Incidence of Vitamin, Mineral, Herbal, and Other Supplement Use in Facial Cosmetic Patients

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Dietary supplement use is common in the United States. Some herbal supplements may cause coagulopathy, hypertension, or dry eyes. The goal of this study is to reveal the incidence of herbal supplement use in the cosmetic surgery population.


A retrospective chart review of 200 patients undergoing facial cosmetic surgery performed by a single surgeon was performed. Variables studied included patient age, sex, surgical procedure, herbal medication use, and intraoperative variables. Exclusion criteria were age younger than 15 years, noncosmetic procedures such as trauma, and incomplete preoperative medication form. Patients were subdivided into the supplement user group (herbal) and the supplement nonuser group (nonherbal). Statistical analysis included descriptive statistics, t test, and chi-square analysis.


The incidence of supplement use was 49 percent in the 200 patients; 24.5 percent of patients used only vitamins or minerals, 2.5 percent of patients used only animal- and plant-based (nonvitamin/mineral) supplements, and 22 percent of patients used both types of supplements. In the herbal group, patients used an average of 2.8 supplements. The herbal and nonherbal groups differed significantly in sex (herbal, 89.8 percent female; nonherbal, 77.5 percent; p < 0.04) and age (herbal, 51.4 years; nonherbal, 38.5 years; p < 0.001).


Herbal supplement use is prevalent in the facial cosmetic surgery population, especially in the older female population. Considering the potential ill effects of these products on surgery and recovery, awareness and careful documentation and prohibiting the patients from the consumption of these products will increase the safety and reduce the recovery following cosmetic procedures.

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