Post-Op Arnica

In preparation for lower transconjunctive blepharoplasty can anyone recommend or comment on the use of Arnica? I understand that it can help reduce swelling and bruising. Is it best to use a pure orgain oil or cream?

Doctor Answers 4


You most likely won't have much bruising or swelling with a transconj bleph, but I don't see any downside to using Arnica. It may help. We give patients the pill form, but I've had patients tell me the topical arnica helps too. I don't have any first had experience comparing the oil with the cream.Andrew Campbell, M.D.Facial Plastic Surgeon

Milwaukee Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Trans-conjunctival blepharoplasty

Since there is no skin incision on the outside of the eyelids with a trans-conjunctival blepharoplasty, there is minimal bruising and swelling after the procedure. The incision is completely located on the inside of the eyelids, and Arnica is not required. It's more important to choose your surgeon with extensive experience producing a natural result.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

Post-Op Arnica

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

Robert Singer, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Don't waste time and money on these treatments-they are absolutely not effective.

Arnica is a homeopathic treatment touted to reduce bruising.  Because taking this product is wildly popular with the public undergoing cosmetic surgery surgeon have studied its effectiveness.  In study after study, there is no evidence that arnica has any effect on healing or reducing bruising.  There is also no evidence that organ oil is beneficial.  Of more concern it potential contamination of these product and the risk of infection.  As a surgeon, I am also concerned about the effects of manipulating healing tissue.  It is simple.  Don't use these products.  They to not help you heal faster.  Instead, carefully follow the directions of your surgeon before surgery.  Many herbal products actually interfere with the coagulation pathways and can worsen post operative brushing.  This is more than inconvienent.  It can lead to post operative complications.  Carefully follow your surgeon's instructions regarding avoiding products that can thin the blood.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Los Angeles Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 23 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.