BACKGROUND: In the United States, the use of herbal supplements on a regular basis ranges from 32% to 97%. Prevalence of supplement use is particularly elevated after facial surgery. It has been reported as high as 50%. Unfortunately, there is a paucity of literature on the dietary use of supplements. They are not regulated by the FDA. Often, they are not reported by patients. This study examines the role of dietary supplements as adjuncts to healing in craniofacial and facial aesthetic surgeries. METHODS: A comprehensive literature review was conducted using MEDLINE, PubMed, and EMBASE. Databases were screened for papers describing the use of supplements in craniofacial procedures in adult patients using relevant search terms. Data on criteria, outcomes, and patient satisfaction were collected. RESULTS: A total of 19 articles were selected from the 806 identified. Fifteen different supplements or combinations of supplements have been studied for use in facial surgeries. Of these 15 supplements, the following demonstrated potential healing benefits: dry ivy leaf extract, Nazalzem ointment (vitamin A and dexpanthenol), combination nasal sprays (phospholipids, fatty acids, vitamin A, and vitamin E), Saireito pills, topical olive oil, yunnan baiyao, melilotus extract, arnica, and combination arnica and ledum. Arnica is the most commonly studied supplement in a variety of facial operations. CONCLUSIONS: There is ample evidence to support a role for the use of certain dietary supplements to optimize wound healing in craniofacial and facial aesthetic surgery. Controlled diet and use of appropriate supplements may have a synergistic beneficial effect on wound healing following craniofacial surgery. However, there is a need for additional reporting to allow for the creation of stronger guidelines and increased patient screening, reporting, and compliance.
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