Arnica Montana and Quercetin Bromelain OK Before Breast Augmentation?

I am 48 years old, in good shape/health and am undergoing a submuscular breast augmentation (Mentor memory gel 350cc) on April 21. I'll be going from a large A/small B cup.

Although my surgeon neither prescribed nor prohibited their use, I have read about reduction of bruising and swelling via pre-operative regimens of Arnica Montana tablets as well as Bromelain. What is your recommended regimen, both pre-operatively and post-operatively? I am thinking that such a homeopathic therapy certainly can't interfere with healing, and if it does any good at all, it's worth the small extra expense.

Doctor Answers 22

Bromelain and arnica with plastic surgery

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I have found bromelain and arnica very useful to decease postop bruising, and in my practice we provide nutrition kits that include peri-operative vitamins as well as bromelain and arnica. Before recommending the bromelain and arnica to all my patients, years ago I had tried these agents with my facial trauma patients and I was amazed how much their bruising and swelling resolved when I saw them next, either for follow-up or for surgery.

I recommend starting the bromelain and arnica after the surgery because some articles have described some intraoperative bleeding problems in patients who began these supplements 2 or 3 days preop.

Abington Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

How to minimize bruising after cosmetic surgery

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The most important thing to do to minimize bruising prior to breast augmentation surgery (or any cosmetic surgery for that matter) is to avoid medications that can cause bleeding. This includes aspirin, ibuprophen (advil, motrin), naproxyn (naprosyn or aleve), and similar drugs. Tylenol is okay to take in small amounts. It's also best to avoid vitamins and other supplements.

I advise my patients to stop taking these medications and supplements for 2 weeks before and for 2 weeks after their surgery. Good nutrition is important both before and after surgery, so I also recommend a healthy diet which will include enough vitamins that supplements should not be necessary.

I have tried both arnica and bromelain supplements with my patients over the years, and really have not found either one to make much difference in swelling or bruising. It is more important to avoid strenuous activity, avoid aspirin-like medications, and also if possible to minimize coughing, vomiting or otherwise raising your blood pressure after surgery. I always prescribe a medication to prevent nausea and vomiting for my patients, as this makes for less bleeding, less bruising, and a much more tolerable recovery.

Pamela B. Rosen, MD
Coral Springs Plastic Surgeon

Arnica and Bromelain for Breast Augmentation

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Although bruising is usually minimal after breast augmentation. These over-the –counter drugs can reduce it even further. We generally supply them and encourage all our patients to take them. However, since many vitamins and minerals interfere with anesthesia or recovery or cause increased bruising, we take all our patients off everything they may be taking.

We then supply a vitamin specially formulated for surgery that will not increase bruising or interfere with anesthesia and will improve healing. Therefore, if you are going to do this, stop everything else except a multivitamin, and make sure that it does not have any Vitamin E in it.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon

Bruising and swelling after breast augmentation is prevented by gentle surgery.

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We don't use these products for breast augmentation in New York City. They are just one more thing to keep track off, and there is really very little bruising and swelling with delicate sugical technique. In fact, many of our patients return to work in three days.

These products are very helpful, however, in facelift, eyelid plasty, and rhinoplasty.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Arnica and bromelain for plastic surgery recovery

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As Dr. Aldea has said, these can be very helpful.  I especially like to use them in facial cases more than in breast cases.  Nevertheless, they can't hurt.

As an aside, a 350 Mentor implant will give a nice result for you but you will probably be bigger than a B after.  More like a C cup, I expect.  But it's the look than counts not the cup size. 

Arnica Montana and Quercetin Bromelain for Cosmetic Surgery

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I have been using Arnica Montana and Quercetin Bromelain in my Cosmetic Surgery cases for years and am convinced they are associated with less swelling and bruising. We offer them pre-operatively to all our patients. Some decline and most use them. The results have been quite convincing.

There are several companies that sell them to doctors' offices. You can find them on-line.

Good Luck on the 21st.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Arnica and Bromelain with surgery

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Hi there-

There have been a few studies indicating that these supplements assist in minimization/resolution of swelling and bruising with plastic surgery procedures.

I do not think they are necessary for you to have a pleasing outcome or experience, but do believe that in my own practice the patients who have chosen to use them (we offer them as an option for those interested) have generally felt their experience was better and easier than friends who did not take them.

Homeopathics and breast augmentation

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I use Arnica for all of my facial cosmetic surgery patients. I haven't found any significant difference in my breast patients, as they typically don't have any bruising. However, i would suggest just speaking with your surgeon prior to starting these meds as some surgeons do have strong opinions about homeopathics. Good luck with your surgery! /nsn

Arnica and Bromolain

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Arnica and Bromelain may be helpful with bruising and swelling. This may help for the post-op care. There are some studies that suggest the Arnica and Bromolain may help still others state that it may do nothing.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Arnica and Bromelain for surgery

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I agree with the surgeons who have stated they find it most useful for facial and eyelid surgery. I, too, rarely have any bruising after breast augmentation.

I will allow patients to use it before and after breast augmentation if they desire.

John LoMonaco, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 276 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.