Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine



I'm going to have a hip replacement in two weeks. The nurse at my doctor's office told me to stop taking my ginkgo biloba. I think this herb really helps me remember things. I'm afraid to stop taking it when I really need my wits about me after the operation. What should I do?


Ginkgo biloba is a natural herbal product advertised as a memory enhancer. It's used to improve mental alertness and give patients clear thinking. Many older adults use it to prevent dementia. Some patients use it for ringing in the ears and for dizziness.

Ginkgo biloba has an i>anticoagulant property. This means it acts like a blood thinner. It keeps platelets in the blood from clumping together to form a blood clot. That's good if you are at risk for blood clots. But it's not good after an operation when bleeding doesn't stop.

It's always best to follow the advice of your doctor and nurse. It's just for a short time until your body returns to normal. Be sure and ask when you can resume taking it again.

Andrew Bebbington, MRCS, et al. Case Report. Ginko Biloba. Persistent Bleeding after Total Hip Arthroplasty Caused by Herbal Self-Medication. The Journal of Arthroplasty. January 2005. Vol. 20. No. 1. Pp. 125-126.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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