A hematoma is a condition marked by a solid swelling of clotted blood under the skin or within the tissues. A hematoma may appear like a bruise on the skin or a raised skin surface with blood trapped inside. The risk of hematoma exists in any type of injury, and plastic surgery is no exception.
During plastic surgery, your blood vessels, nerves, capillaries, and skin get injured or damaged. The surgical trauma may trigger the discharge of blood from your body that may accumulate under the skin or within other tissues. A damage of the blood vessel during plastic surgery can upset the arrangement of the blood vessel wall.
Even a minor damage of the small blood vessel can lead to a hematoma. The more severe the surgical trauma, the more extensive the hematoma will be. In other words, if more bleeding occurs during the surgery, it can lead to strikingly large trapping of blood under the skin or body fissures like the abdomen or chest.
The severity of the hematoma also depends on the type of surgery. The more extensive the surgery, the more will be the chance of bleeding, and thus a higher risk of hematomas. Hematomas mostly occur in the vicinity of the site of the operation. For example, if you are undergoing butt augmentation, a hematoma may occur in your butt. If you are undergoing the tummy tuck, a hematoma may occur in your abdomen. There are certain factors that increase the risk of hematomas. The first among these is the use of blood thinning medications. For example, if you are taking aspirin or certain anti-inflammatory drugs, you will be more at risk of developing hematoma after plastic surgery.
It is for this reason that patients are advised to share their complete medication history with their surgeons. The surgeon may ask you to stop taking blood-thinning medications a few weeks before the surgery. This is done to decrease the risk of hematoma, excessive bleeding, and poor wound healing.
Some health conditions can also increase the risk of hematomas after plastic surgery. For example, patients with liver disease, blood disorders, and low platelet count are more at risk of suffering from hematomas. Also, if you are using alcohol excessively, your risk of developing hematomas after plastic surgery is greater.
In order to decrease the risk of hematoma, be sure to share your complete health and medication history with the doctor. Also, follow the surgeon's instructions and contact your surgeon if you notice a hematoma forming after the surgery.