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Evaluation of Homeopathic Arnica montana for Ecchymosis After Upper Blepharoplasty: A Placebo-Controlled, Randomized, Double-Blind Study

Kotlus, Brett S. M.D., M.S.*†‡; Heringer, Dustin M. M.D.*†; Dryden, Robert M. M.D.*†

Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery: November-December 2010 - Volume 26 - Issue 6 - p 395-397
doi: 10.1097/IOP.0b013e3181cd93be
Original Articles

Purpose: Ecchymosis is commonly encountered after upper eyelid blepharoplasty. The use of homeopathic preparations of Arnica montana, a flowering herb, has been advocated by physicians, patients, and manufacturers for reduction of postsurgical ecchymosis. The authors evaluate its efficacy after upper eyelid blepharoplasty.

Methods: A prospective, placebo-controlled, double-blind study was performed in which patients were randomly assigned to the administration of homeopathic A. montana or placebo concurrent with unilateral upper eyelid blepharoplasty followed by contralateral treatment at least 1 month later. Ecchymosis was evaluated at days 3 and 7 by rank order of severity and measurement of surface area of observable ecchymosis.

Results: There was no statistically significant difference in area of ecchymosis or rank order of ecchymosis severity for days 3 and 7 after treatment with A. montana versus placebo. Additionally, there was no difference in ease of recovery per patient report, and there was no difference in the rate of ecchymosis resolution.

Conclusions: The authors find no evidence that homeopathic A. montana, as used in this study, is beneficial in the reduction or the resolution of ecchymosis after upper eyelid blepharoplasty.

Homeopathic Arnica montana does not reduce ecchymosis after upper blepharoplasty as compared with placebo.

*Division of Oculoplastic Surgery, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Arizona Health Science Center; †Arizona Centre Plastic Surgery, Tucson, Arizona; and ‡Allure Medical Spa, Shelby Township, Michigan, U.S.A.

Accepted for publication November 11, 2009.

This study was performed under approval of the institutional review board.

This study was conducted as a thesis for ASOPRS Membership.

The authors have no conflicts of interest.

Supported in part by an Individual Research Grant from the Cosmetic Surgery Foundation.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Brett S. Kotlus, M.D., M.S., 8180 26 Mile Road, Shelby Twp, MI 48316, U.S.A. E-mail:

©2010The American Society of Opthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Inc.