Herbal "Enhancements" Can Negatively Affect Long Island Breast Enlargement

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Breast augmentation patients on Long Island who use herbal supplements may be compromising their surgical results. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. James Romanelli cautions patients on the ability of herbal supplements to improve surgical recovery.

The use of herbal supplements in the United States has increased dramatically in recent years, and many women are turning to the claims of "natural" breast enhancement products in an effort to supplement or replicate the effects of surgical breast augmentation on Long Island. While many of these products claim to offer a healthy and cost-effective alternative to cosmetic surgery, board-certified New York plastic surgeon Dr. James Romanelli (http://www.longislandbreast.com) cautions his patients about the potential side effects of such supplements.

"Herbal enhancements are labeled as 'nutritional supplements' and not as medicines, which unfortunately leads many women to believe they are perfectly safe to combine with their Long Island breast enlargement procedure," explains Dr. Romanelli. "In reality, what this label tells us is that these 'enhancement' products do not have to validate their claims through testing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Because they are marketed as 'natural,' some patients see no risk in taking these supplements after a surgical procedure, without knowing that they could impact recovery."

Some supplements claim to enhance breast volume by using phytoestrogens, plant-based substances that behave somewhat like estrogen and produce some estrogen-like effects on the body. Phytoestrogens are claimed to change body chemistry, stimulating breast tissue to swell as it does during pregnancy or menstruation. However, the FDA has found no evidence that natural breast enhancements produce reliable results.

"Medically, phytoestrogens are helpful for certain conditions because they can actually hamper the body's own estrogen production," Dr. Romanelli says. "Some of these products may have very limited effects on breast size due to associated swelling, but even if the product works as claimed, a woman will experience extra swelling that is uncomfortable and can negatively impact breast augmentation recovery."

Dr. Romanelli's comments come in the wake of a number of studies in top surgical journals about the negative effects that many herbal supplements can create for surgical recovery. Even relatively mild supplements such as gingko, for example, have been found to impact a patient's tendency to bleed during surgery, increasing risk of complications such as postoperative bruising and swelling.

"I tell my patients to be skeptical of these 'enhancement' products because they can add unnecessary discomfort to the healing process," says Dr. Romanelli. He recommends that patients looking into primary or revision breast enlargement on Long Island do an appropriate amount of research and spend the time to assess their health habits before surgery. "You must proceed with caution, and always give a complete list of the medicines and supplements you are taking to your doctor before surgery."

Romanelli Cosmetic Surgery (http://www.longislandbreast.com) is located in Huntington, New York on Long Island. Dr. James N. Romanelli is a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in Long Island breast augmentation and has been in private practice since 1990. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1978 and his medical degree from SUNY Downstate in 1982. He then completed eight years of post-graduate specialty training in general surgery, plastic surgery and hand surgery. In addition to running his plastic surgery practice, Dr. Romanelli is the chief of surgery at Huntington Hospital.


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