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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

Some common conditions after surgery for which homeopathic medicines are often effective include the following:

Fear of Death
Aconitum 30 is indicated (every hour for up to four doses).

Bleeding
Arnica 30 helps to slow or stop bleeding after surgery. Phosphorus 30 is the primary remedy for helping to stop bleeding when Arnica does not work adequately. Ipecacuanha 30 is indicated when there is much bleeding of bright red blood, often accompanied by nausea. Secale 30 is effective in treating uterine bleeding that is aggravated by heat and relieved by cold. Cinchona 30 is helpful for people whose bleeding and general loss of fluids lead them to feel weak and faint and have ringing in the ears. This remedy is sometimes indicated several weeks, months, or years after much fluid has been lost, after either an illness or an operation. Arsenicum 30 is useful when profuse bleeding leads to great weakness, burning pains, restlessness, anxiety, and fear, along with a characteristically large thirst for only sips at a time.
Dose: Take the remedy every hour until bleeding stops, not more than four doses. If bleeding has not significantly slowed, consider another remedy. The next day, take one more dose of whichever works to reduce the possible complications of blood loss.

Trauma to Tissue
Arnica topically and Arnica 6 or 30 are useful when the muscle feels bruised or swollen and when there is any pooling of blood under the skin. Hamamelis topically and Hamamelis 6 or 30 are effective when the person has weak veins, passive hemorrhage, bleeding hemorrhoids, or varicose veins. Capillaries are enlarged and congestion is marked. Calendula in external application (gel, ointment, tincture, spray) is indicated to heal wounds or incisions. Bellis perennis 6 or 30 is a remedy for use after abdominal surgery and when deep internal tissue has been traumatized.
Dose: Apply external remedies at least once a day, and apply again if bathing washes them off. Generally, only two to eight doses of the internal remedy over a two day period will be necessary to complete the healing process.

Wound Infection
External applications of Calendula and Hypericum, either alone or preferably together, help to both prevent and treat infection of surgical wounds. If pus has developed and caused hypersensitivity of the wound, Hepar sulphur 30 is recommended. Because Hepar sulphur is an effective remedy for helping to push out splinters, pieces of glass, and various foreign objects that get stuck under the skin, it also has a tendency to push out surgical stitches. Thus it is not recommended to use this remedy when there are stitches, except towards the end of the healing process, when their removal is part of the healing. If the wound becomes purplish, Lachesis 30 or Gunpowder 30 is indicated. If there is much burning in the wound or wound area, Sulphur 30 is helpful.
Dose: Apply external remedies at least once a day, and apply again if bathing washes them off. Take internal remedies every two to four hours during the first 24 hours and four times a day for two to five more days.

Scarring and Adhesions:
Apply Thiosinaminum tincture externally or use an external combination formula that also contains Calendula (some injury gels include these ingredients). Take Graphites 12 internally.
Dose: Apply external remedies at least once a day, and apply them again if bathing washes them off. You may need to do this for several weeks or months. Internal remedies should be taken three times a day for two days, and if necessary, repeated one month later.

Constipation
Raphanus 6 or 30 is indicated when there is constipation with no urgings for a stool and/or when there is painful gas; see also the chapter on Digestive Disorders for other potential medicines for constipation.
Dose: Take this remedy three times a day for up to four days.

Nausea and Vomiting
Nux vomica 6 or 30 is good for violent retching, especially when there is generally ineffectual retching that does not lead to vomiting. Phosphorus 6 or 30 helps to prevent or treat nausea after surgery; it is indicated when the patient has a strong thirst for ice drinks; he or she may also have a concurrent headache. Ipecac 6 or 30 is effective for persistent nausea with vomiting, when vomiting does not provide relief. Arsenicum 6 or 30 treats violent and incessant vomiting which is made worse by drinking water, especially cold water, or eating. There may also be burning pain in the stomach. See also chapter on Digestive Disorders.
Dose: Take a remedy every two hours during intense symptoms and every four hours during less intense discomfort. If improvement is not obvious after 24 hours, consider another remedy.

Gas
Carbo veg 6 or 30 helps people who suffer from great distension and offensive gas, who get some relief from release of gas, and who desire carbonated drinks because they seem to help them release gas. Cinchona 6 or 30 is useful when there is more pain than distension, frequent rumbling in the abdomen, and no relief from releasing gas. Raphanus 6 or 30 is a common remedy for people who have a distended abdomen but are unable to expel gas. Because this condition is extremely common after surgery, especially abdominal surgery, this remedy is often indicated. Colocynthis 6 or 30 is effective when there is more pain than distension, and also cramps that are relieved by bending over.
Dose: Take a remedy every two hours during intense pain and every four hours during mild discomfort. If improvement is not obvious after 24 hours, consider another remedy.

Bedsores
(see the chapter on Conditions of the Elderly for details)

Resources
1J.P. Alibeau and J. Jobert, "Aconit en Dilution Homeopathique et Agitation Post-Operatoire de l'enfant," Pediatrie, 1990, 45 (7-8): 465-66.
2J. Baillargeon, et.al., "The Effects of Arnica Montana on Blood Coagulation: A Randomized Controlled Trial," Canadian Family Physician, November 1993, 39:2362-67.
3C. Amodeo, et.al., "The Role of Arnica in the Prevention of Venous Pathology from Long-term Intravenous Therapy: Evaluation of Platelet Aggregation," Ninth National Conference of the Italian Society for Vascular Pathology, Capanello, June 6-9, 1987. The study included 39 patients, including 21 undergoing intravenous feeding, nine in infusion protracted beyond 72 hours, and nine in chemotherapeutic treatment.

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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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