Arnica montana and Bellis perennis for seroma reduction following mastectomy and immediate breast reconstruction: randomized, double-blind, placebo- controlled trial

Abstract

Background

Seroma is a common surgical complication created by the inflammatory process that follows mastectomy and reconstruction [9,10,11,12,13,14,15]. It is, therefore, common practice to insert surgical drains, which often remain in place for long periods and delay recovery [26, 27]. In light of the many advantages of homeopathic treatment, there has been a global trend of integrating this with conventional medicine [29]. In this study, we examined the effect of Arnica montana and Bellis perennis on seroma prevention after mastectomy and breast reconstruction.

Methods

This was a prospective double-blinded randomized analysis of 55 consecutive patients (78 breasts), who underwent mastectomy and immediate breast reconstruction between January 2016 and August 2017. Patients were randomly assigned and treated with Arnica montana and Bellis perennis or placebo from surgery and up to the time of drain removal.

Results

The mean patient age was 47.9 years. Comorbidities included obesity, diabetes mellitus, essential hypertension, fibromyalgia, and hypothyroidism (1, 4, 6, 2, and 4 patients respectively). Age, body mass index, mastectomy type, and lymph node dissection were similar among groups. Forty-two breasts underwent one-stage procedure, and the remaining were two-stage. Arnica montana and Bellis perennis significantly reduced drain removal time (discharge < 30 ml) by 18% (2.4 days, p < 0.05), 11.1 (6.1) days in the study groups compared with 13.5 (6.4) days in the placebo group. Patient opioid intake was lower (p < 0.057) in the study group. Quality of life, postoperative pain, hemoglobin and cortisol levels, and complications were not associated with any treatment.

Conclusions

Arnica montana and Bellis perennis have been shown to reduce seroma formation and opioid intake following mastectomy and reconstruction. As this treatment lacks side effects and is inexpensive, it should serve as a valuable treatment adjunct in patients undergoing mastectomy and reconstruction.

Level of evidence: Level I, therapeutic study.

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Acknowledgments

This study was funded by Mirski grant no. 18004640, Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel.

Funding

This study was funded by Mirski grant no. 18004640, Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel.

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All authors contributed to the study conception and design. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Adi Maisel Lotan.

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Adi Maisel Lotan declares that she has no conflict of interest. Yoav Gronovich declares that he has no conflict of interest. Ido Lysy declares that he has no conflict of interest. Rami Binenboym declares that he has no conflict of interest. Nirit Eizenman declares that he has no conflict of interest. Barak Stuchiner declares that he has no conflict of interest. Oren Goldstein declares that he has no conflict of interest. Polina Babai declares that he has no conflict of interest. Menahem Oberbaum declares that he has no conflict of interest.

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Lotan, A.M., Gronovich, Y., Lysy, I. et al. Arnica montana and Bellis perennis for seroma reduction following mastectomy and immediate breast reconstruction: randomized, double-blind, placebo- controlled trial. Eur J Plast Surg 43, 285–294 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00238-019-01618-7

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Keywords

  • Mastectomy
  • Breast reconstruction
  • Seroma
  • Homeopathy
  • Arnica montana
  • Bellis perennis