01 Feb Hematoma After Facelift: How To Minimize Bleeding And Bruising After Surgery
Hematoma Risk After A Facelift
More and more adults are embracing the benefits of facelifts. Every year, more than 130,000 Americans have facelifts, a figure that’s steadily increasing. Facelifts are surgical procedures that help address severe wrinkling, sagging skin, and folds. Most people who have facelifts are satisfied with the results and are impressed with the anti-aging benefits. Like most surgeries, there is always a degree of risk, especially during recovery. A hematoma is one such complication that can occur, affecting facelift recovery and final results.
What is a hematoma?
Before a patient decides to have a facelift done, the surgeons will explain all the possible side effects and complications, including hematoma risk. A hematoma is a tiny pooling of blood under the skin. Hematomas usually happen 24-48 hours after surgery. Facelifts require the surgeon to reposition tissue, tighten, and remove excess skin. These steps may disrupt or damage tiny blood vessels in the skin and tissue. Hematomas are the most common post-operative complication in facelifts, happening in about 0.2-8% of all cases.
Signs to watch for
Hematomas cause the skin to appear dark blue, black, or purple. A small, hard lump also forms that may be painful when touched. The skin is sometimes tender, which can be confused with normal post-operative swelling or bruising. Some hematomas also get slightly larger over time and become inflamed. Minor hematomas can go away without medical intervention. However, medical attention is required if the lump remains for more than a few days.
If left untreated, some hematomas can lead to more severe complications. If a hematoma is suspected, revisit the surgeon as soon as possible. The surgeon will assess the bump and then decide on the appropriate treatment. Some hematomas are drained in the office, while larger ones require a follow-up procedure or may indicate a more severe blood clot. After treatment, the patient should check for other bruises or bleeding. However, there should be no further issues that affect healing.
Minimize the risk of hematomas
Certain lifestyle behaviors or circumstances increase the chances of bleeding, bruising, or hematomas post-op. Making specific changes can significantly reduce the chances of these complications. For example, blood thinners, smoking, specific supplements, and pain medication can increase risk. Doctors often suggest quitting these substances several weeks before and after surgery. Avoid activities that can raise blood pressure, such as alcohol use or strenuous exercise. Follow all instructions on wound care and wear a compressive bandage if instructed, which can prevent blood clots or bruises.
More results, fewer complications
Hematomas and bruising are common complications after surgery. In most cases, these pools of blood are not life-threatening but can impact the facelift quality. Patients should monitor for hematoma symptoms and seek help if the lump does not disappear. The best thing a patient can do is rest and limit physical activity after surgery. Stick to a healthy diet, stay hydrated, and avoid smoking to decrease the risk of complications. Minimizing bleeding can lead to a fantastic, successful surgery.