Arnica for Swelling and Bruising?

I have been doing some research and was just curious if all ps recommend taking arnica before a tummy tuck and during to help with the swelling and bruising?

Doctor Answers 16

Arnica for Swelling and Bruising?

Arnica Montana is a homeopathic drug that is claimed to reduce bruising and swelling. Anecdotally, many patients and plastic surgeons feel that Arnica does have a benefit. There are, however, conflicting reports in the valid scientific literature about these claims. Bromelin (Bromelain), another homeopathic medication, is a mixture of enzymes found naturally in the juice and stems of pineapples and also purported to reduce swelling, bruising, inflammation and pain after surgery. This supplement, which is often taken along with Arnica, is also controversial with regard to efficacy.

I would suggest you find a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)  that you trust and are comfortable with. You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person. It is critical that he or she should be aware of all medications, supplements, minerals, vitamins, and herbs that you are taking, because they may interfere with normal blood coagulation, healing, and anesthesia.

Robert Singer, MD  FACS

La Jolla, California

La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Arnica for swelling and bruising?

Hello! Thank you for your question! The recommendations for the use of these homeopathic medications are surgeon preference. I typically suggest use Arnica to decrease swelling and bruising. It is an herbal medication that is propagated from the seeds of an herb. I, as well as my patients, have seen some benefit with the treatment in the postoperative period. Although there is little evidence to its effectiveness, I believe there is some benefit, but no harm. I recommend 4-5 tablets under the tongue 4x/day for 3-5 days prior and 5-7 days after the procedure. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Bruisestick ointment and Arnica montana

In our office, we recommend Bruisestick ointment that contains Arnica and Bromelain to be used on the area of injection or surgery. 

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews


I cannot answer for other plastic surgeons but I have found that my patients who use the arnica prior to and after their surgeries tend to have much less swelling and bruising.

Jeffrey W. Hall, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Arnica for Swelling and Bruising

You will find many different opinions from different surgeons...personally, I find a marked advantage when patients take the VitaMedica Surgery Program which includes an excellent multivitamin, arnica montana and more. I find the results so encouraging that I include VitaMedica for all surgery patients. Good luck!

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Arnica and postoperative swelling and bruising.

The scientific literature is mixed on the efficacy of Arnica, however anecdotally, it does seem to benefit some patients. I have not seen detrimental effects from Arnica. On a side note, Arnica is found in many eye creams for it's "vasoconstrictive" actions and does seem to provide improvement in puffy, congested lower eyelids. Consult with your plastic surgeon before you take any supplements or vitamins prior to surgery.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Arnica and bromelain for swelling and bruising

Arnica and bromelain are used in my practice to decrease bruising and speed up the swelling portion of healing process after surgery. While these are not prescription drugs, there have been studies to show their efficacy and they certainly cannot hurt to consume before-and-after surgery.

Kevin Tehrani, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Arnica Benefits

I use Arnica for many of my patients and find it to help reduce bruising and swelling after surgery. I supply it to my patients but it can be purchased over the counter as well.

James A. Hoffman, MD
Saint Paul Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Arnica for bruising

Arnica reduces bruising. I have my patients go to GNC or the equivalent and get arnica tablet 5 days before surgery. It seems to work well in my patients.

Raj S. Ambay, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Arnica is Ok

Arnica is perfectly fine to use for cosmetic surgery. It is often used for reduction of bruising and reduction of swelling. You'll have find a PS that is comfortable with this or is already using this in his or her practice.

Good luck.

Dr. ES

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.