Are Arnica Montana and Bromelain Recommended Before Mommy Makeover?

I am getting a Mommy Makeover which includes tummy tuck, liposuction and breast reduction. Is it best to take the supplements post surgery or both pre op and post op? What dosage amounts and strengths are recommended?

Doctor Answers 18

Arnica and Bromelain with Mommy Makeover

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Hi there-

While there have been several studies indicating a benefit to cosmetic surgery patients taking arnica and bromelain (in appropriate doses) in terms of diminished swelling and bruising, the benefits do not seem to be universal or clear.

In other words, some patients clearly feel they had a better recovery than they would have without them, but others may not feel so strongly about it one way or the other.

I cannot say that in my experience they have ever caused harm or actually worsened the recovery.

The bottom line, however, is that as with so many other things, your outcome, safety, and the quality of your recovery experience is going to be MOST determined by the surgeon you choose. Gentle technique by skilled and experienced hands is what really leads to less bruising and swelling.

Can you dimnish bruising and swelling with supplements?

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I hope you enjoy the results of your mommy makeover!  But I cannot say I'm a fan of bromelain and arnica.  I've used the samples from companies providing it and did not appreciate any benefit at all.  Some patients will bruise more than others, especially if there is any post-op bleeding.  If you're a believer in supplements, by all means go for it.  But if you're wondering if it will help, I do not advise it for my patients.  Again, enjoy your new look following your surgery! 

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Arnica & Bromelain

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Dear Knikki,
I do recommend arnica & bromelain for facial surgery (facelift, bleph, rhinoplasty), but not for body surgery.  Typically you will not see much bruising with breast or abdominal surgery, and I don't think there is much benefit to taking the supplements to justify the possible risks.

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Supplements with a mommy makeover

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Thank you for your question. I am not a big fan of arnica montana or bromelain around the time of surgery. You may find reports on line about patients claiming to have less bruising or faster healing by taking these, however, I have had patients take these and have more bruising and  slower healing that what I normally see. I would talk with your surgeon (board certified of course) before taking these around the time of your surgery. Remember, there are no miracle cures. I am aware of no good studies that prove the effectiveness of these products. Good luck with your surgery.

James McMahan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Arnica and Bromelain ointment for surgery

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I recommend both Arnica and Bromelain after surgery. For the skin, I prescribe Bruisestick ointment to reduce bruising underneath the skin. Bruisestick contains both Arnica and Bromelain. 

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Arnica for cosmetic surgery

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I do give my patients Arnica before cosmetic surgery.  It is great for reducing swelling and bruising.  Over the counter doses should be just fine for you.

A Montana and Bromelin , do they really make a difference?

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The use of these products varies widely.  Some doctors recommend them strongly in others do not.

I personally do not feel strongly one way or the other.  While I do not generally recommend them in my practice if the patient feels comfortable taking them I have no objection to it. I do not offer them in the office because I don't want my patient to think that I'm trying to sell them something.  I think it is difficult enough to make a decision for surgery without an additional sales pitch.

With or without arnica or bromelin there will always be some bruising associated with any surgery.  I think your best bet would be to try and find a surgeon who is neat and meticulous.

The prescribing information will be provided with the medication and if your PS  Is one that recommends these products he or she will be able to guide you.

Good luck with your surgery and with your recovery.


Adam Tattelbaum, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 115 reviews

Arnica Montana and Bromelain not recommended for Mommy Makeover

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Thank you for your question.  While you will be able to find some surgeons and individuals who sing their praises, I am not a strong proponent of arnica and bromelian.  There are not good studies that actually show significant differences for the procedures you are having.  If your surgeon wants you to use them, please call his or her office for specific instructions. I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Arnica Montana and Bromelain for Surgery

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Both are homeopathic products that claim to reduce swelling and bruising and are available in many plastic surgeons offices. My patients seem pleased with the benefit they provide therefore I have them available in my office. There are different brands available each with their own directions. Usually it is recommended to start taking them 3 days prior to surgery and then until the swelling subsides (7 to 14 days). The products found in health food stores are of a milder strength than what is recommended for surgery patients. Follow your surgeon's advice.

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Are arnicaMontana and Bromelain recommended before mommy makeover?

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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 vidence to its effectiveness, I believe there robe 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 28 reviews

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.