The potential for bruising exists with many of the non-surgical and surgical procedures we offer to patients. Whether a vessel is damaged by a needle or a surgical incision, blood will collect near the skin surface and produce skin discoloration. The bruise will evolve in its appearance as it heals due to the presence of hemoglobin, the iron containing pigment in blood cells, with a progression of skin color changes from purple to reddish blue and finally yellowish green before returning to its normal color. The following recommendations will decrease the likelihood of getting a bruise or speed its resolution should it occur.
Non-Surgical and Surgical Procedures
Stop for 7-10 days prior to and following treatment :
- Aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, or Aleve. These medications prevent blood cells, known as platelets, from clumping together to form a clot which stops bleeding. You may use Tylenol for pain as needed.
- Vitamin E, Multivitamins (most of them contain Vitamin E), Fish Oil, Omega-3, Flaxseed Oil, Gingko, Ginseng, St. John’s Wort, and Garlic. These vitamins and supplements also decrease the clotting of your blood.
- Ask Dr. Forley if you have any questions about medications or supplements you are taking.
After your treatment:
- Cold packs can be selectively applied following certain procedures for 5-10 minutes every hour for the first 8 hours to reduce swelling and bruising. Occasionally, the use of cold packs is indicated for the first 2 days. It is important not to use excessive application of cold packs as they can freeze the skin and produce blisters. The use of cold packs will be discussed with you by Dr. Forley.
- Arnica Montana is a homeopathic remedy that may help to reduce post-operative bruising and swelling. It is manufactured by Boiron and VitaMedica and is available in 12C or 30C pellets which dissolve in the mouth (both versions are effective). The recommended dose is 4 pellets/3x per day for 5-7 days or until any bruising resolves.
- Auriderm is a topical gel which contains Vitamin K and has been helpful in decreasing the onset of bruising or in speeding its resolution. We recommend applying it up to 5-6 times a day for 2 days after treatment. You can continue using it on any visible bruises until they disappear.
- Eat fresh pineapple the day of your treatment. Pineapple contains bromelain, a natural anti-inflammatory, which can help to decrease swelling. Bromelain supplements can also be added for procedures where there is a greater tendency for swelling.
Recovery Support Program
Dr. Forley incorporates nutritional supplements and vitamins from VitaMedica to optimize your surgical outcome. VitaMedica’s Recovery Support Program enhances wound healing, boosts immune function, and stimulates tissue growth factors. Inflammation, bruising, and swelling are also reduced. The program starts 2 weeks prior to your surgery and continues for 2 weeks following the procedure.
Written by Dr. Forley on February 6, 2012