Bromelain And/or Arnica Before Surgery?

I'm having revision lower blepharoplasty next month. I had bruising for 6 weeks after the first surgery. Do you recommend Bromelain and/or Arnica before surgery as well as after? My Dr. seemed somewhat indifferent to there use. If I do take these herbs, how much and when should I start taking it? I really don't want to be in hiding for another six weeks!

Doctor Answers 11

Arnica Before Blepharoplasty

I routinely recommend Arnica before and after surgery.  This can be purchased at most pharmacies, over the counter.  There are instructions with the medication of when it should be taken and should be started the evening before surgery.  So, don't look at the package the morning of surgery because it may already be too late.  Remember that these medications are herbal and not FDA approved.  So, the studies demonstrating effectiveness are not great.  I have attached a link to a patient who is one week out from a lower blepharoplasty (and facelift/browlift, lip augmentation) that I consider a normal, expected amount of bruising after having taken Arnica. 

Salt Lake City Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

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In my experience, Arnica pills are helpful for minimizing post-operative bruising.

In my practice, I routinely give all of my surgical patients Boiron, arnica pills which are begun 48 hours before surgery, and are continued for 7-10 days. This herb appears to lighten dark bruising, especially after rhinoplasty or blepharoplasty, and makes it easier to use concealer and resume normal social activities.

This is anecdotal, but in my opinion, Boiron arnica montana pills appear to be effective in minimizing post-operative bruising. I have never offered bromelain to my patients.

Hope this is helpful for you.

Dr. Joseph

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 302 reviews

Medication to prevent bruising

Bruising is expected after eyelid surgery and it usually resolves after 7 to 10 days.  Persistent bruising and discoloration of the soft tissues can occur.  There is really no magic cure as this will ultimately resolve on its own.  Occasionally alternating warm and cool compresses can help as well as on over the counter herbal product, Bromelean.  The usual antibruising dose is 500 mg twice a day between meals. Arnica can be used prior to surgery, a good product to try from

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Pineapple works great to reduce bruising

Dear Gwen,

    I perfrom oculoplastic eyelid surgery exclusively.  I ask my patients to start eating at least a cup of fresh pineapple starting three days before surgery and to keep it up for a few days after surgery.  Pineapple contains Bromelain.  Most of my patients have very little bruising at their 1 week follow up appointments.  Of course, you are now having revisional surgery which may be a little more complex and with scar tissue, may cause more brusing.  Of course, keep your head elevated for 1-2 weeks after, ice as much as you can the first couple of days, and avoid any strenuous activity.

Good luck and I hope this helps!

Jasmine Mohadjer, MD
Clearwater Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Arnica and Bromelain ointment with Bruisestick

Arnica and Bromelain are excellent post op supplements for cosmetic surgery. I prescribe Bruisestick ointment which contains both Arnica and Bromelain. 

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Eyelid surgery

I am in the same boat with your doctor, indifferent. There are no scientific studies I am aware of to quantify any benefit form these "herbs", therefore I don't know the proper dose, nor do I think it makes a difference. It probably won't hurt, but I doubt it will help.

Bromelain And/or Arnica Before Surgery?

 There certainly are measures, to take, pre-operatively that decrease the bruising from a Rhinoplasty or Eyelid Surgery.  Avoid Vit C, E, Fish Oil, Niacin, Zinc and all other know blood thinners.  Arnica 12-C is what we recommend for our surgical patients to limit bruising.  

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Arnica or Bromelain for Bruising

I would agree with your doctor regarding these substances and put them into the "might help" category.  I believe that good technical surgery with careful attention to hemostasis is much more important in reducing bruising.

Michael Sundine, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Arnica and bromelain before surgery

I do recommend Arnica Montana X30 one week before and after surgery. Bromelain may help reduce bruising.

Mohsen Tavoussi, MD, DO
Huntington Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Bromelain and Arnica for Revision Lower Eyelid Surgery

     Bromelain and arnica may help with the bruising, but indifference on the part of the surgeon is not uncommon as there is not overwhelming evidence on this issue and bruising is subjective.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.