What Is a Hematoma?
A hematoma is a collection of blood that develops outside of the blood vessels, usually near the incision site, after surgery. Patients that notice any discoloration around the incision that looks similar to severe bruising or a collection of blood under the skin may be developing a hematoma. Other symptoms of hematoma after plastic surgery include severe, uneven, and sudden swelling, as well as pain in the affected area. Hematomas usually develop within 48 hours of surgery.
Discuss Medication History
While the risk of getting a hematoma is relatively low for most patients, it is still a real risk. This risk is increased for patients that are taking certain medications. Prior to scheduling a surgical appointment, patients should inform their doctors of the medications they are taking and the existence of any type of coagulant disorder or issues with the blood.
What to Avoid before Surgery
There are a few precautions patients can take before surgery to reduce the risk of a hematoma. Patients should avoid any blood thinning medications, including aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs. Patients should avoid these drugs before, during, and after surgery, until they are cleared to start using them again. Additionally, it is important to avoid alcohol a few weeks before the surgery, as this will help minimize inflammation after surgery.
What to Avoid after Surgery
Dr. Mark Deuber will discuss with patients in detail ways to reduce the risk of developing a hematoma. He will let patients know how long they should continue to avoid certain drugs, vitamins, and alcohol.
Additionally, patients should avoid excessive heat after the surgery. Being exposed to heat – including the sun, hot tubs, and heating pads – can increase the chance of a hematoma.
For patients that experience post-operative nausea, the act of vomiting can increase the risk of hematoma. Patients are urged to rest until all nausea passes.
Finally, patients should suppress the temptation to exercise or engage in activity that could raise blood pressure. This will keep inflammation and swelling to a minimum. One of the best things patients can do to heal and avoid any complications is to simply take it easy for a while.
Patients that wish to learn more about reducing hematoma after plastic surgery can contact the practice of Dr. Mark Deuber to schedule a consultation.