Objective: Bromelain is the name given to a family of proteolytic enzymes obtained from Ananas comosus, the pineapple plant. It is considered a potent anti-inflammatory and antiedematous substance. Surgery of impacted third molars in the outpatient setting is one of the procedures most often associated with postoperative pain and swelling. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of bromelain in reducing postoperative pain and swelling.
Method and Materials: 80 patients were recruited to the study from patients attending the Maxillofacial Surgery Unit of the Istituto Stomatologico Italiano, Milan, Italy, for impacted third molar surgery. At time 0 when surgery was performed, patients started simultaneous antibiotic and analgesic therapy. On the following day, patients were divided into two groups. Patients in group 1 were prescribed bromelain. Patients in group 2 were prescribed only the analgesic if required. Three parameters were evaluated: pain, edema, and erythema. The first evaluation visit was performed 3 hours after surgery, the second 48 hours after surgery, and the final evaluation 7 days after surgery.
Results: Postoperative pain, edema, and erythema were significantly lower in the study group than in the control group. Analgesic consumption, both in terms of days of treatment and number of tablets taken, was slightly lower in the study group. Only one adverse event was recorded, which occurred in a patient in the control group.
Conclusion: The present study demonstrates an important anti-inflammatory and anti-edematous effect of bromelain. Statistical analysis shows that in the group treated with bromelain the inflammatory response was significantly less than in the control group.
Keywords: bromelain, postoperative pain, third molar surgery