Bromelain And/or Arnica Before Surgery?

I'm having revision lower blepharoplasty next month. I had bruising for 6 weeks after the first surgery. Do you recommend Bromelain and/or Arnica before surgery as well as after? My Dr. seemed somewhat indifferent to there use. If I do take these herbs, how much and when should I start taking it? I really don't want to be in hiding for another six weeks!

Doctor Answers 29

Reduce Swelling after Eyelid Surgery

The eyelids are notorious for bruising and swelling. If a movie wants to convey that an actor has been in a fight, the first make-up applied is that for a black eye.

For eyelid surgery, 4 main treatments exist for minimizing bruising, but unfortunately no "silver bullet" prevents completely.  The first is starting Bromelain & Arnica prior to surgery.  (A few studies in the medical literature show improvement but admittedly others show no difference).  The second is largely out of your control and involves surgical technique.  The third treatment is 48 hours of post-operative icing.  Ice remains one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory agents, and I advise a maximum of 30 minutes every hour.  After that period, transitioning to warm packs also helps. The fourth treatment for facial bruising that is remarkably effective is a Pulse-Dye laser.  It will not erase the bruise but it can fade it significantly and speed the rate at which it disappears.

Best of luck in your recovery.


Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Reduce Swelling after Eyelid Surgery

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
The eyelids are notorious for bruising and swelling. If a movie wants to convey that an actor has been in a fight, the first make-up applied is that for a black eye.

For eyelid surgery, 4 main treatments exist for minimizing bruising, but unfortunately no "silver bullet" prevents completely.  The first is starting Bromelain & Arnica prior to surgery.  (A few studies in the medical literature show improvement but admittedly others show no difference).  The second is largely out of your control and involves surgical technique.  The third treatment is 48 hours of post-operative icing.  Ice remains one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory agents, and I advise a maximum of 30 minutes every hour.  After that period, transitioning to warm packs also helps. The fourth treatment for facial bruising that is remarkably effective is a Pulse-Dye laser.  It will not erase the bruise but it can fade it significantly and speed the rate at which it disappears.

Best of luck in your recovery.


Austin Plastic Surgeon

Arnica for Blepharoplasty

Arnica pills when taken starting the day before surgery and after surgery until any possible bruises are gone will reduce bruising and make them go away faster if you get any. Arnica cream afterwards helps as well if needed. Also avoid aspirin and ibuprofen for 10 days prior to surgery.

Arnica for Blepharoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Arnica pills when taken starting the day before surgery and after surgery until any possible bruises are gone will reduce bruising and make them go away faster if you get any. Arnica cream afterwards helps as well if needed. Also avoid aspirin and ibuprofen for 10 days prior to surgery.

Bromelain And/or Arnica Before Surgery?

 There certainly are measures, to take, pre-operatively that decrease the bruising from a Rhinoplasty or Eyelid Surgery.  Avoid Vit C, E, Fish Oil, Niacin, Zinc and all other know blood thinners.  Arnica 12-C is what we recommend for our surgical patients to limit bruising.  

Bromelain And/or Arnica Before Surgery?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

 There certainly are measures, to take, pre-operatively that decrease the bruising from a Rhinoplasty or Eyelid Surgery.  Avoid Vit C, E, Fish Oil, Niacin, Zinc and all other know blood thinners.  Arnica 12-C is what we recommend for our surgical patients to limit bruising.  

Arnica for surgery

I recommend Arnica Montana and Bromelain Before and After Surgery
Bromelain is a botanical extract with natural anti-inflammatory and other beneficial properties. It can help decrease inflammation, swelling and pain that often accompany a surgical procedure.
Arnica Montana has been touted as causing decreased bruising, swelling and pain associated with surgery or soft tissue injury. with our homeopathic Arnica Montana.
For a thorough explanation of the beneficial effects of Bromelain, see the below link to an article I wrote on the subject
The optimal dosage is not known. I would recommend purchasing it from a company that specializes in pre-surgical medicines such as Vitamedica. You can contact my office if you are not able to find it elsewhere.

Arnica for surgery

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
I recommend Arnica Montana and Bromelain Before and After Surgery
Bromelain is a botanical extract with natural anti-inflammatory and other beneficial properties. It can help decrease inflammation, swelling and pain that often accompany a surgical procedure.
Arnica Montana has been touted as causing decreased bruising, swelling and pain associated with surgery or soft tissue injury. with our homeopathic Arnica Montana.
For a thorough explanation of the beneficial effects of Bromelain, see the below link to an article I wrote on the subject
The optimal dosage is not known. I would recommend purchasing it from a company that specializes in pre-surgical medicines such as Vitamedica. You can contact my office if you are not able to find it elsewhere.

Herbal supplements for bruising

The is no hard evidence that any over-the-counter products have any benefit for post-operative bruising. There is probably no harm either, so I let patients know about Arnica and other supplements. I think the most important steps to diminish bruising following surgery are cold compresses for 3 days and keeping the head elevated for 1 week. 

Herbal supplements for bruising

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
The is no hard evidence that any over-the-counter products have any benefit for post-operative bruising. There is probably no harm either, so I let patients know about Arnica and other supplements. I think the most important steps to diminish bruising following surgery are cold compresses for 3 days and keeping the head elevated for 1 week. 

Arnica Before Blepharoplasty

I routinely recommend Arnica before and after surgery.  This can be purchased at most pharmacies, over the counter.  There are instructions with the medication of when it should be taken and should be started the evening before surgery.  So, don't look at the package the morning of surgery because it may already be too late.  Remember that these medications are herbal and not FDA approved.  So, the studies demonstrating effectiveness are not great.  I have attached a link to a patient who is one week out from a lower blepharoplasty (and facelift/browlift, lip augmentation) that I consider a normal, expected amount of bruising after having taken Arnica. 

John Bitner, MD
Salt Lake City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Arnica Before Blepharoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I routinely recommend Arnica before and after surgery.  This can be purchased at most pharmacies, over the counter.  There are instructions with the medication of when it should be taken and should be started the evening before surgery.  So, don't look at the package the morning of surgery because it may already be too late.  Remember that these medications are herbal and not FDA approved.  So, the studies demonstrating effectiveness are not great.  I have attached a link to a patient who is one week out from a lower blepharoplasty (and facelift/browlift, lip augmentation) that I consider a normal, expected amount of bruising after having taken Arnica. 

John Bitner, MD
Salt Lake City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Pineapple works great to reduce bruising

Dear Gwen,

    I perfrom oculoplastic eyelid surgery exclusively.  I ask my patients to start eating at least a cup of fresh pineapple starting three days before surgery and to keep it up for a few days after surgery.  Pineapple contains Bromelain.  Most of my patients have very little bruising at their 1 week follow up appointments.  Of course, you are now having revisional surgery which may be a little more complex and with scar tissue, may cause more brusing.  Of course, keep your head elevated for 1-2 weeks after, ice as much as you can the first couple of days, and avoid any strenuous activity.

Good luck and I hope this helps!

Pineapple works great to reduce bruising

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Dear Gwen,

    I perfrom oculoplastic eyelid surgery exclusively.  I ask my patients to start eating at least a cup of fresh pineapple starting three days before surgery and to keep it up for a few days after surgery.  Pineapple contains Bromelain.  Most of my patients have very little bruising at their 1 week follow up appointments.  Of course, you are now having revisional surgery which may be a little more complex and with scar tissue, may cause more brusing.  Of course, keep your head elevated for 1-2 weeks after, ice as much as you can the first couple of days, and avoid any strenuous activity.

Good luck and I hope this helps!

Bromelain and/or Arnica before eyelid lift?

Thank you for your question. In my opinion, both Bromelain and Arnica Montana help in bruising. I normally have my patients start them 2 days before the procedure and keep them on till the bruising is gone. That being said, they are not FDA approved by in my opinion they do help in bruising.

I hope this helps. Best wishes! (Dr. Salameh, Plastic Surgeon, Bowling Green, KY)

Bromelain and/or Arnica before eyelid lift?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for your question. In my opinion, both Bromelain and Arnica Montana help in bruising. I normally have my patients start them 2 days before the procedure and keep them on till the bruising is gone. That being said, they are not FDA approved by in my opinion they do help in bruising.

I hope this helps. Best wishes! (Dr. Salameh, Plastic Surgeon, Bowling Green, KY)

Bromelain and/or Arnica before surgery?

In our practice, we do not routinely recommend these homeopathic medications. It is acceptable for the patients to take them, since they don't do any harm, and the beneficial effects are minimal if any. More important is to choose a surgeon very wisely based on extensive experience with blepharoplasty.

Bromelain and/or Arnica before surgery?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

In our practice, we do not routinely recommend these homeopathic medications. It is acceptable for the patients to take them, since they don't do any harm, and the beneficial effects are minimal if any. More important is to choose a surgeon very wisely based on extensive experience with blepharoplasty.

Arnica and Bromelain for eyelid surgery

I recommend both supplements to be started 2 days before and continued for 1-2 weeks following blepharoplasty surgery. In my experience, those who take the supplements get less bruising/swelling and it goes away faster than those who do not. 

Arnica and Bromelain for eyelid surgery

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I recommend both supplements to be started 2 days before and continued for 1-2 weeks following blepharoplasty surgery. In my experience, those who take the supplements get less bruising/swelling and it goes away faster than those who do not. 

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.