With the 2012 Olympics getting closer to us, the drive to succeed and enhance oneself is becoming more and more important to both the athletes and the common public. The true prevalence of ‘performance enhancing drug use’ remains difficult to establish here in the UK. Even though their use is banned in sport, most of these drugs are legal to possess for personal use in the United Kingdom. With the increased emphasis on, and visibility of, the ‘body beautiful’, more gym goers are turning to methods of enhancing their appearance. An example of these substances is anabolic steroids, growth hormone, insulin, erythropoietin, thyroxine, tamoxifen, human chorionic gonadotrophin hormone and diuretics but the list expands to 20 others that are commonly used. This study presents the limited scientific data on the effects performance enhancing substances have on the oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMFS) patient. These patients undergo physiological and psychological changes with both widespread effects and potential interactions caused by ingestion of these substances. It also highlights the role of the clinician in the need to identify these supposedly ‘fit and well’ patients who may have altered haematological parameters during surgical and anaesthetic workup. A Literature review of the pathophysiological effect of these substances is presented with a discussion of the anaesthetic and surgical concerns of patient undergoing OMFS.
Conflict of interest: None declared.