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Hematoma after surgery

hematoma
What is a Hematoma?

Hematoma is a collection of blood that can occur after surgery. It can make a mark on your skin that looks similar to bruising because blood is trapped under the surface of the skin. Hematoma after surgery is common and often occurs as a side effect of operations such as breast enlargement surgery, abdominoplasty, and face lift surgery.

Why causes a hematoma?

Hematoma occurs when blood vessels flow in to the surrounding skin tissues at the surgical site where tissue has been removed. It is caused by trauma to the blood vessels due to ruptured capillaries, arteries or veins which create a pool of blood.

It can occur within a few hours or even days after a surgery. It is important that the patient takes adequate care of their wounds as any stress on the wound can cause the formation of hematoma. Sometimes, this may be out of your control and actions such as coughing or sneezing can put stress on the wound. You should also be advised to stop taking medications such as Ibuprofen and Aspiration before surgery as these can increase your chances of blood complications.

Can a hematoma be dangerous?

Sometimes a blood clot can form which creates a lumpy appearance due to the sack of blood. This is actually the body’s way of keeping the bleeding under control so that it doesn’t spread to more areas. Usually this is nothing to be concerned about, but in severe cases if the oxygen cannot reach the skin, the skin can start to die causing infection and necrosis.

How to treat a hematoma:

In most cases the blood will be reabsorbed into the body but you should always avoid: massaging the area and causing stress on it and taking anti-inflammatory or blood thinning medicines.

You can attempt to reduce a hematoma using the hot/cold method. In the first two days apply an ice pack to the area which will reduce blood flow. Follow this method until swelling subsides. Next, use a heated compress on the area 2-3 times a day.

In some cases, hematoma may need to be surgically drained.

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