Purpose: The purpose of this study was to provide preliminary data on the potential effectiveness of the combination of topical Arnica montana and Rhododendron tomentosum (Ledum palustre) in reducing postoperative ecchymosis and edema in a select population of healthy volunteers after oculofacial surgery. Methods: This retrospective review examined the postoperative course of healthy volunteers using topical Arnica and Ledum after undergoing common oculofacial procedures, including blepharoplasty, browpexy, and rhinoplasty, in the hands of 4 surgeons at tertiary referral centers from July 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012 using medical records review. Each patient included had used topical hydrogel pads (OcuMend, Cearna Inc., Chicago, IL) containing Arnica 50 M (10-100,000) 50% and Ledum 50 M (10-100,000). The pads were applied bilaterally after surgery through postoperative day 6. At each postoperative visit, the patients were evaluated by their respective surgeons and assigned a subjective physician-patient rating score comparing each patient's observed healing compared with expected healing if not using Arnica/Ledum. Photographs of patients undergoing equivalent procedures, but not using Arnica/Ledum were used as controls for comparison. Physician-patient rating scores were categorical: markedly accelerated healing defined as approximately 7 days ahead of expected, accelerated healing, defined as <7 days ahead of expected, and no appreciable difference from expected. The proportion of patients with each physician-patient rating score was calculated for postoperative days 1 to 2, 3 to 5, 6 to 8, and overall. Difference of proportions was calculated with 95% confidence intervals using Newcombe unpaired difference comparison of proportions. Photographs documenting the clinical progression of selected patients are provided. Results: A total of 27 patients (16 females, 11 males) were included in the study. Age range was 18 to 70 years. The majority of patients were white (52.9%), and underwent blepharoplasty (78.9%). The median duration of follow-up was 7 days, range 1 to 14 days. The proportions of patients with markedly accelerated healing were 38.5% (5 of 13), 85.7% (6 of 7), 60.0% (12 of 20), and 51.9% (14 of 27) at POD 1 to 2, 3 to 5, 6 to 8, and overall, respectively. The proportions of patients with accelerated healing at the same time points were 15.4% (2 of 13), 14.3% (1 of 7), 30.0% (6 of 20), and 37.0% (10 of 27), respectively. The proportions of patients with no appreciable difference at the same time points were 46.2% (6 of 13), 0% (0 of 7), 10.0% (2 of 20), and 11.1% (3 of 27) of patients, respectively. The proportion of patients using Arnica/Ledum with markedly accelerated healing was significantly more than the proportion of those demonstrating no appreciable difference from expected at POD 3 to 5 (85.7% vs. 0%, p = 0.05), POD 6 to 8 (60.0% vs. 10.0%), and overall (51.9% vs. 11.1%, p = 0.05). No adverse effects were reported. Conclusions: The preliminary results from this study demonstrate that the combination of topical Arnica montana and Rhododendron tomentosum (Ledum palustre) may be effective in reducing postoperative ecchymosis and edema after oculofacial surgery.
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