What is Arnica Montana?

What is Arnica Montana?

At Ocean Drive Plastic Surgery, we believe that many homeopathic therapies are safe and effective, and in the context of plastic surgery, many homeopathic therapies provide a synergistic effect.  One of the best examples of this is Arnica Montana (called Arnica for short).  Arnica is a type of sunflower found in Europe.  It grows in moist, nutrient-poor meadows below 9,800 feet elevation.  Within Arnica lies a compound known as thymol.  Thymol is a unique molecule that has been shown to reduce inflammation, pain, swelling, and bruising.

Arnica can be applied as a topical gel on the skin, or it can be taken orally.  Clinical studies have shown that oral, tablet form arnica markedly reduces the formation and duration of bruising and swelling following injections or surgery.  Topical application of arnica, on the other hand, has not shown any clinical effect other than reducing the discomfort of chronic osteoarthritis of the hand.

We have found that Arnica to be very effective in reducing bruising and swelling after surgical procedures, and after injectable therapy.  Because of this effect, we offer it on a complimentary basis to all injectable patients to maximize both their experience and their outcome.  Arnica is taken immediately after injections are complete, and over the first two days following treatment.  Use of Arnica in conjunction with a needle specifically designed by Ocean Drive Plastic Surgery markedly reduces the presence of bruising following injection.

For patients undergoing surgical procedures at Ocean Drive Plastic Surgery, we recommend a three week supply of Arnica Montana, as well as Bromelain.  Bromelain is a protein extract found in the stems of tropical pineapples.  As with Arnica gel, most studies show that the topical gel treatment does not offer significant clinical benefit.  However, oral tablets have been shown to reduce swelling after surgery in limited clinical trials.  We have found that use of Bromelain does reduce swelling, and improves overall patient comfort following surgery, and use it routinely in all surgical cases.

In summary, a number of homeopathic remedies are utilized at our practice to improve patient comfort and outcomes.  The most effective of all of these therapies is Arnica Montana in oral tablet form.  As part of the signature Ocean Drive experience, all injectable patients are given a two day supply of Arnica to improve both their comfort and ultimate outcome.

Alan Durkin

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