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 Pre-Surgical and Post-Surgical Treatment 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Understanding Homeopathy by . View all columns in series

Take either Gelsemium or Aconitum the night before the surgery and another dose upon waking in the morning. If fear and/or anxiety is felt after surgery, take one to three more doses.

One double-blind, randomized trial on 50 children who underwent surgery showed that 95% of those given the homeopathic medicine Aconitum experienced significantly less post-operative pain and agitation.1 Aconitum was chosen because it is a common remedy for ailments in which sudden and violent onset of shock or trauma is a primary indication, as well as symptoms of fear and anxiety, which are especially common emotions experienced by children prior to surgery.

Arnica is another common homeopathic medicine given to people before and after surgery because of its ability to reduce surgical shock and minimize bleeding. Surgical shock is a condition that trauma or surgery can cause in which all the capillaries and small blood vessels are filled with blood at the same time. A randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover study showed that Arnica significantly decreased bleeding time.2

The late British homeopathic physician Donald Foubister recommended Arnica 30 the night before surgery, another dose the morning of the surgery, another dose just prior to the surgery, and different medicines afterward, depending upon the type of surgery and the symptoms the patient feels.

Homeopathic medicines can also be beneficial for patients who undergo long-term intravenous (IV) therapy. Frequent insertion of an IV commonly causes phlebitis (inflammation of the vein) and hematoma (the pooling of blood under the skin); a double-blind study using Arnica 5c found that it can effectively reduce and prevent such problems.3 The study showed significant benefits from Arnica, including reduced pain. Besides subjective improvement, there were also objectively measured increases in blood flow and in blood coagulation factors.

While Arnica is the primary remedy to be taken just prior to the majority of surgeries, there are a certain number of operations for which Dr. Foubister commonly recommended other remedies. For surgery involving cartilage and periosteum, as is often occurs in the knee or elbow, it is recommended to take Ruta 30 the evening before, the morning of the operation, and immediately afterward. For hemorrhoidal surgery, it is recommended to take either Staphysagria 30 or Aesculus 30 in a similar pattern as described for Ruta. And for circumcision, Staphysagria 30 and Arnica 30 should be given similarly as above.

The following are common recommendations for after surgery. Please note that the length of time of treatment can and should be different with each patient, depending upon the intensity of symptoms. Doses should generally be taken as long as pain persists, though they should not be taken for more than a couple of days, unless the person is still in pain and the remedy is providing obvious relief. Arnica 6, 12, or 30 should be given for at least two doses after surgery, approximately one hour apart. In addition to this remedy, the following remedies should be given one hour after the last dose of Arnica:

Gynecological surgery:
--Dilation and curettage: Belladonna 30, every 6 hours
--Hysterectomy: Causticum 30, three times a day (some homeopaths recommend Staphysagria 6 or 30, three times a day)
--Caesarean section or episiotomy: Staphysagria 30 or Bellis perennis 30, three times a day
--Abortion or miscarriage: Ignatia 30, every four hours
--Plastic surgery on the breast: Bellis perennis 6 or 30, three times a day
--Amputation of the breast or a lump: Hamamelis 30, every 4 hours

Circumcision: Staphysagria 30 and Arnica 30, every four hours for a day.

Prostate surgery: Staphysagria 30, three times a day

Abdominal surgery: Staphysagria 30 or Bellis perennis 30, three times a day

Appendectomy: Rhus tox 30, three times a day

Gastrectomy: Raphanus 30, three times a day

Gall bladder surgery: Lycopodium 30, three times a day

Eye surgery: Ledum 30, every four hours

Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy: Rhus tox 30, every four hours

Orthopedic surgery
--involving cartilage or periosteum: Ruta 30, every four hours
--involving the spine: Hypericum 30, every four hours
--Surgery for bullet wounds and/or stab wounds: Staphysagria 30, four times a day

Plastic surgery: Arnica 30 (internally) and Calendula, (externally) four times a day

Amputation: Hypericum 30, every four hours

Hemorrhoids: Staphysagria 30 or Aesculus 30, every four hours for two
or three days* Varicose veins: Ledum 30, three times a day

Dental surgery: Hypericum 30 and Ruta 30, alternating every two to four hours

Homeopathy for Specific Ailments After Surgery
Readers who experience symptoms or syndromes discussed elsewhere in this book should review those chapters. For instance, if you have urinary symptoms after surgery, which is common when catheterization takes place, consult the section on bladder infection in the section on Women's Conditions (even if you are a man; see: WOMEN). If you are now suffering from acute insomnia, consult the chapter on Insomnia (sorry, not included online).

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 About The Author
DANA ULLMAN, MPH, is one of America's leading advocates for homeopathy. He has authored 10 books, including ...moreDana Ullman, MPH
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