Homeopathy and SurgeryTamara Der-Ohanian October 1, 2005
One of homeopathy’s best-kept secrets is its ability to prevent complications from surgery. Homeopathic remedies can help reduce fear and anxiety prior to surgery, excess bleeding during surgery, and can dramatically accelerate post-surgical recovery. In addition, remedies can help the body break down and eliminate unsightly scars.
Surgery represents both the astonishing sophistication and scientific advancements in health care while also demonstrating the inability of conventional medicine to provide alternatives that would prevent this invasive action of last resort.
On one hand surgery can play an important role in medicine since some conditions such as congenital deformities, structural problems, severe injuries, or life-threatening pathological conditions are simply not treatable without it. At the same time, surgery is often performed unnecessarily. For example, it is used when the body, given a chance, could heal itself using natural and non-invasive therapies. Successful surgery does not mean that the person is “cured.” Surgery may remove a tumour, a gallstone, or other diseased tissue or body parts, but this removal doesn’t change the underlying pathological processes that created them in the first place.
When faced with surgery, consult a homeopath to determine if your specific condition is treatable with homeopathy. This profound medical science can help reverse many pathological processes and help restore physical and emotional health, including shrinking varicose veins, hemorrhoids, tumours and dissolving kidney and gallstones.
Once it is established that surgery is necessary, homeopathic remedies can play a vital role in reducing any complications that may arise as well as accelerating healing and recovery.
Since homeopathy is an individualized science, remedies are prescribed based on the type of surgery performed and the specific symptoms experienced by the individual. There are however some routinely used remedies that can help with a variety of common surgeries.
ARNICA FOR SHOCK AND TRAUMA
Arnica is the first remedy to consider in any type of trauma or shock. Since surgery represents a huge shock and trauma to the body, arnica is a must when undergoing any type of surgery. Arnica can help reduce soreness, tissue damage and bruising. Several randomized double-blind studies have shown that arnica significantly decreases bleeding time during and after surgery.
Patients are routinely asked not to take any food or drink prior to surgery. Homeopathic remedies do not fall in this category and are safe before surgery. There have never been any reported problems from taking homeopathic remedies prior to surgery.
My recommendation to patients undergoing surgery is to take the first dose of arnica 30C the night before surgery, second dose the morning of surgery (as close to the procedure time as possible), the third dose immediately after regaining consciousness, then two to there more doses one hour apart.
Arnica after surgery significantly reduces recovery time. Different medicines may be considered for the days to follow, depending on the type of surgery and the symptoms experienced by the patient.
One patient who underwent extensive plastic surgery (breast and abdominal at the same time) followed my recommendation of using arnica before and after the procedure. Her plastic surgeon was quite amazed at her recovery rate and the fact that she had almost no bruises left one week following the procedure. She was also sleeping on her side (according to her surgeon it takes 4-6 weeks to be able to do this) and drove herself to her follow-up appointment.
Patients who undergo long-term intravenous (IV) therapy may find that the frequent insertion of an IV causes phlebitis (inflammation of the vein) and hematoma (the pooling of blood under the skin). A low dose of arnica (such as 6C) taken daily can effectively reduce and prevent such problems as well as reduce pain.
FEAR AND ANXIETY BEFORE SURGERY
Aconitum Napellus (aconite) is the first remedy for sudden and violent onset of shock or trauma accompanied with fear and anxiety, which are common emotions experienced before surgery. This remedy is most effective when the patient fears dying from the surgery. One patient who had undergone numerous surgeries told me she had anxiety with fear of death prior to each surgery. After taking aconite 30C prior to her latest surgery, she reported feeling calm without fear of death for the first time.
Gelsemium 30C is a common remedy for the person who experiences great anxiety, apprehension, weakness, and trembling prior to surgery.
When faced with anxiety, take either gelsemium or aconite the night before the surgery and another dose the morning of. If fear and/or anxiety persist after surgery, up to three more doses may be taken.
REMEDIES FOR DIFFERENT TYPES OF SURGERY
Important Note: The length of time for treatment is different with each individual as well as type of surgery. Remedies should be taken as long as discomfort persists, though they should not be taken for more than a few days. Discontinue the remedy as soon as the symptoms disappear, as well as when there is no significant improvement after a few doses. The following remedies can be taken one hour after the last dose of arnica.
• Abortion or Miscarriage: Ignatia 30C, every four hours.
• Caesarean Section or Episiotomy: Staphysagria 30C or Bellis perennis 30C, every four hours.
• Dilation and curettage (D & C): Belladonna 30C, every 4 hours.
• Hysterectomy: Causticum 30C, every four hours.
• Ruta 30C is the first remedy for surgery involving cartilage, tendons, ligaments and periosteum. It is therefore a great remedy in surgeries involving the knees and other joints.
One patient requires the same knee surgery every year after he had a horrific motorcycle accident. He was given arnica before and after the surgery (as described above) as well as ruta, four times a day, for seven days following. He describes his experience as follows:
“Homeopathy has changed my life and helped contribute to my rehabilitation. After my accident, I had to have several very painful knee surgeries. After these surgeries, the recovery and rehabilitation time was long and very painful. There also was a great deal of swelling and I could not walk unassisted for several weeks. After I was introduced to homeopathy, I continued to require the exact same knee surgery, however with a much improved recovery and rehabilitation. Homeopathy greatly reduced the recovery time, the swelling in my knee, as well as the pain following this very painful surgery. In fact, after my last knee surgery, I was walking the very next day. I did not need to take one pain killer as the pain was significantly reduced in comparison to the time before I began using homeopathic remedies. Much to my amazement, there was also very little swelling in my knee. Homeopathy has also helped to improve my overall health.”
HOMEOPATHY FOR SPECIFIC AILMENTS AFTER SURGERY
Homeopathic remedies are often effective in relieving many common conditions after surgery. Here are some of them.
Nausea and Vomiting: The following remedies may be taken 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 or see your health care provider.
• Nux vomica 30C is good for violent retching, which does not lead to vomiting.
• Phosphorus 30C helps to prevent or treat nausea after surgery; especially when the patient has a strong thirst for ice drinks and may also have a concurrent headache.
• Ipecacuanha 30C is effective for persistent nausea with vomiting, when vomiting does not provide relief.
• Arsenicum 30C treats violent and incessant vomiting, which is made worse by eating or drinking cold water. There may also be burning pain in the stomach.
Constipation: Surgical procedures, especially abdominal or gynecological operations, typically slow or stop normal bowel function. The following remedies may provide relief from constipation. Take one of these remedies three times a day for up to four days. If there is no improvement after 24 hours, stop taking it.
• Arnica 30C helps with constipation due to experiencing shock, characterized by a pale skin tone.
• China 30C is useful for large accumulation of fecal matter that is difficult to expel, and especially if the patient is experiencing small amounts of diarrhea instead.
• Raphanus 30C is indicated when there is constipation with no urgings for a stool and/or when there is painful gas in the upper left part of the abdomen.
Swelling, Stiffness and Soreness:
• Ledum palustre 30C may help to relieve bruising and swelling around the eye after surgery. It is also useful for pain and swelling after surgery on varicose veins.
• Rhus toxicodendron 30C is helpful for relieving stiffness, soreness, and restlessness after any surgery. It is often recommended after operations on tonsils and adenoids, appendectomy, and dental surgery.
Scarring: Apply homeopathic thiosinaminum cream externally once a day, which may be re-applied after bathing. Continue for weeks or months as needed. Take the same remedy internally in 6X, once a day for one week. Repeat one month later if necessary.
The benefits of homeopathy before and after surgery are too numerous to include in this article. With over 3,000 homeopathic remedies in existence, there are specific remedies for any and all possible symptoms and discomforts that may arise. The remedies are non-toxic, and provide quick relief. Whether faced with eye surgery, tonsillectomy, prostate surgery, or surgery to have a bullet removed, homeopathy can help alleviate discomfort and quicken your recovery.
Tamara Der-Ohanian is a Homeopath registered with the College of Homeopaths of Ontario. She is the creator of Homeopathic First Aid Kits (www.Homeokits.com).Tamara has her own practice and is accepting new patients. Call her at (416) 385-1001 or visit her website: www.TamaraDer-Ohanian.com