Objectives: Considering the optimal efficacy of bromelain for pain relief and wound healing, this study aimed to assess the effect of bromelain on wound healing, pain, and bleeding at the donor site following free gingival grafting (FGG).
Materials and methods: This randomized, controlled double-blind clinical trial was performed on 26 patients with gingival recession. The patients were randomly divided into two groups of bromelain and placebo (n=13). Treatment was started on the day of surgery and was continued for 10 days. Pain, bleeding, and epithelialization at the donor site were the variables evaluated in this study using a questionnaire. The level of pain was determined using a visual analog scale (VAS) considering the number of analgesic tablets taken within 7 days postoperatively. Bleeding was determined according to the patient's report, and epithelization was assessed by applying 3% hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to the donor site. The donor site epithelialization was assessed at 7 and 10 days after surgery.
Results: Bromelain caused a significant reduction in pain at the donor site (2.605±0.509) compared to the placebo (4.885±0.519; P<0.05). The number of donor sites with complete epithelialization was higher in the bromelain group compared to the placebo, but this difference was not statistically significant (P>0.05). The two groups were the same regarding postoperative bleeding (P>0.05).
Conclusions: The results showed that oral bromelain (500 mg/day) can be effective in the reduction of pain at the donor site after FGG and may also enhance wound healing. Oral bromelain does not increase the risk of postoperative bleeding.
Keywords: Bromelain; Operative Surgical Procedure; Transplant Donor Site; Wound Healing.