Bromelain and Amica long term to combat "swell hell"?

Any of you vets out there...did you continue taking Bromelain and Amica throughout the 3-6 month period to combat "swell hell"? My thinking is that it should help then if it helps in the beginning. But, is it safe to take fairly long term? Any comments appreciated. I am having a TT May 26 and I so want to prevent swell hell if possible.

Doctor Answers 7

Bromelain and Arnica are more for bruising than swelling.

My partner and I actually give our patients Anica, as we have become believers in its effectiveness (reluctant ones for those who trust in the scientific method, but believers nonetheless). After a week or so, there will be no reason to continue either of these homeopathic remedies, as cut lymphatics still need to heal and re-open, and scar tissue still needs to soften and mature.

It's like taking vitamin supplements--unless your diet is so limited that you are truly vitamin-deficient in one or more vital areas, vitamin supplements are simply good for the seller, and end up being voided in your urine! "Extra" vitamins have NO beneficial effect whatsoever; your body has only so many enzymes or cofactors to which the vitamin molecules can bind. Any others simply get eliminate by your kidneys, and end up in your toilet. (Save the stress on your kidneys--just throw your money in the toliet and flush!) And that is just for the water-soluble vitamins--fat-soluble Vitamin K, A, D, and E have even more exotic overdose effects!

Arnica and Bromelain, like vitamins, are best used sparingly and never to excess! Anything more than this is just a waste of your money, a "stress" to your body's ability to eliminate the "excess," and possibly related to subtle and otherwise-unidentified side effects.

"Swell hell" is best avoided by careful surgery, and that, of course, is based on your selection of surgeon! Good luck and best wishes!

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

Avoid salt to reduce swelling


Thanks for letting me know about swell hell, never heard that expression before.  Swelling is part of the natural healing process and without it you would not heal properly.  Natural remedies like arnica and bromelain may help but there is no scientific evidence as of yet to support that claim.  That being said, should not hurt you either.  The best thing is to avoid salt in my opinion and drink lots of fluids.  Most of my patients who have tummy-tuck and are normal weight are back in their jeans by the 6th week, but it can take longer for the swelling to subside, especially if a lot of liposuction is performed at the same time.  Certainly for the first several weeks you will not be able to wear your regular pants.  Good luck with the surgery. 

Tracy M. Pfeifer, MD, MS

Tracy Pfeifer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Bromeline and Arnica

Its best to consult with your board-certified Plastic Surgeon beforehand. She or he will make suggestions according to your procedure and medical records in addition to discussing your pre-op preparations. Also, such may be provided for you with your pre-op material and prescriptions in time for your recovery period. You will learn more about preparing at your pre-op appointment. 

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

Arnica for a tummy tuck

These medications are largely anecdotal to decrease bruising.  I find it most beneficial to use about a week pre-op and then about 2 weeks post.  I almost exclusively use in facial procedures.  Your tummy should be okay with swelling assuming your drains are working, you avoid a high salt diet, and you follow the activity limitations.

I wish you the best on your tuck.

Michael L. Spann, MD
Little Rock Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Bromelain and Arnica long term to combat "swell hell"?

There is no credible evidence that either of these agents diminishes postop swelling and bruising.

You can still go ahead with them - but it's the same thinking that keeps people home on Friday the 13th.

Eric Pugash, MD
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 140 reviews

Bromelain and arnica for swell "hell"?

simply put there is little evidence as to the efficacy of these preparations. people who take them often feel there was some improvement but that is not "proof" per se. in my practice I use gentle technique with rest post op to minimize facial swelling and conversely early gentle ambulation/activity to stimulate lymphatic flow for body work. the preparations are not standardized and may actually have unanticipated effects. when in doubt keep it simple.

Rafael C. Cabrera, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Bromelain and Amica long term to combat "swell hell"?

In my practice we recommend 2 weeks before surgery and 3 weeks following the operation. Your decision on long term use. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 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.