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 20

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 Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

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.

Eyelid revision: arnica for bruising

Revision eyelid surgery should be done at least 6 months after the initial surgery to allow time for healing and tissues to soften. Asymmetries, excess skin, fat rolls, fat malposition can all be improved. Other treatments may include laser or chemical peels to tighten skin and improve texture

I routinely have my patients use Bromelain and arnica and arnica gel before and after surgery

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

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 74 reviews

Arnica and Bromelain before surgery! #vitamedica #bromelain #arnica

Great question?  We have supplements that our patients take two weeks before surgery and two weeks after.  Vitamedica  was designed by an anesthesiologist to help prepare the body before surgery and after surgery.  Just the right ingredients are used for optimal healing before and after your cosmetic procedure.  I highly recommend these vitamins to my patients and find that their recovery time has been reduced significantly.

Brett E. Stompro, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

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 After Surgery

Great question!  Arnica has been used for centuries to treat the effects of accidents and injuries and has been known for its remarkable healing properties.  Many physicians and patients around the world have successfully used Arnica to treat bruising, soreness, inflammation and swelling that results from all types of physical trauma. Arnica has had the reputation for safety, effectiveness, ease of use and broad applicability. According to further studies and research, Arnica may be useful in treating health problems related to arthritis, post-surgical swelling, post-surgical pain and muscle soreness.  Please speak to your plastic surgeon for details on dosage.  

Jon Paul Trevisani, MD, FACS
Maitland Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Bromelain and Arnica for Surgery

There is little scientific evidence to support the use of herbal supplements to improve the rate of healing, bruising, or swelling after eyelift surgery. Most plastic surgeons feel that they are safe and do not interfere with recovery. Discuss use of these substances with your surgeon.

Lara Devgan, MD, MPH
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

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. 

Medication to prevent bruising

Bruising is expected after eyelid surgery and it usually resolves after 7 to 10 days.  Persistent bruising and discoloration of the soft tissues can occur.  There is really no magic cure as this will ultimately resolve on its own.  Occasionally alternating warm and cool compresses can help as well as on over the counter herbal product, Bromelean.  The usual antibruising dose is 500 mg twice a day between meals. Arnica can be used prior to surgery, a good product to try from Alpinepharm.com

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 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.