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.