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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
Surgery represents conventional medicine at its best and its worst. On the one hand, surgery demonstrates incredibly sophisticated informational and technical advancement, yet on the other hand, it often indicates the inability of physicians and patients to prevent this invasive treatment of last resort.

Like other health professionals, homeopaths honor the special role that surgery and surgeons have in health care. Homeopaths are not against surgery, because certain conditions are simply not treatable without it. At the same time, however, surgery is often performed unnecessarily. It is performed when other, safer measures can be effectively used. It is performed too early when the body can sometimes heal itself. And it is performed inappropriately, primarily because surgeons only know surgery and don't know what else to do (the law of hammers pervades many professions: when you are a hammer, everything becomes a nail).

Even when surgery is successful, this does not necessarily mean that the person is "cured." Surgery may, for instance, remove an abscess, a tumor, kidney stones or gallstones, or other diseased parts, but because this removal doesn't change the underlying pathological processes that created them in the first place, it is understandable and even predictable that people tend to reexperience their ailments.

Even if the ailment seems to have disappeared, homeopaths do not believe that a curative process has always taken place. While the initial complaint may have been eradicated, sometimes more serious pathology develops shortly after the surgery. Although doctors tend to believe that this is a "new" disease, homeopaths theorize that the surgery probably suppressed the original ailment.

This critique of surgery is not meant to devalue its appropriate use in treating various congential deformities, structural problems, severe injuries, or life-threatening pathological conditions. As previously stated, homeopaths are not against the judicious use of surgery.

When possible, homeopaths first attempt to to see if treatment with an individualized homeopathic medicine can prevent the need for surgery. Patients and even homeopaths are sometimes surprised and impressed at the significant results that homeopathic medicines can provide--not that they can do the impossible, but they can often elicit a healing response when conventional therapeutics cannot.

The integration of homeopathic medicines with surgical care uses the best of both worlds to create comprehensive and ultimately more effective health care.

Homeopathic Medicines Before and After Surgery
Once it is determined that surgery is medically necessary, homeopathic medicines can reduce complications of surgery and augment healing so that people can recover more quickly afterward.

Surgeons commonly ask patients not to take any food, drink, or drugs prior to surgery. While it makes sense to avoid food, drink, and conventional drugs, there have never been any reported problems from taking homeopathic remedies prior to surgery.

Some homeopaths recommend Ferrum phos 6, four times a day for two days, prior to surgery in order to prevent infection and hemorrhaging.

Homeopathic medicines can also help people deal with the various emotions they are experiencing prior to surgery. Gelsemium 6 or 30 is a common remedy for the person who experiences great anxiety, apprehension, weakness, and trembling prior to surgery. Aconitum 6 or 30 is indicated when the person is terrified about surgery and thinks that he will die from it.

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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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