Minimizing Mayhem: Reducing Bleeding & Bruising With Post-Facelift Hematoma Prevention


Minimizing Mayhem: Reducing Bleeding & Bruising With Post-Facelift Hematoma Prevention

How Common Is A Post-facelift Hematoma?

Hematoma formation involves bleeding and pooling of blood, causing bruising and complications post-operatively following a facelift. Reported new cases range from 0.6%-14.2% of facelift procedures, typically occurring in the first 24 hours. Predisposing factors include male gender, pre-existing uncontrolled hypertension, preoperative blood-thinning medications like aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, and postoperative blood pressure (BP) elevation. The link between elevated BP and hematoma has been well-known since the 1970s. Following are recommendations aimed at preventing this complication and enhancing an aesthetic result.

Preventive measures pre-surgery to reduce hematomas and bleeding

Before a facelift procedure, several measures can aid in preventing bleeding complications and hematoma formation. Withholding specific blood thinning medications before the procedure can reduce the occurrence of bleeding and should be discussed with the surgical team. All medicines, supplements, and vitamins should be reviewed before surgery, as they may need to be temporarily held. Smoking cessation is also highly recommended 4 weeks prior secondary to reduced healing as well as alcohol consumption.

Post-surgery prevention of hematomas

Swelling and bruising are common post-surgery. However, adhering to several vital tips can assist in reducing unwanted hematoma complications. First, of paramount importance is to read and follow the surgeon’s instructions. Cold compresses are an easy way to facilitate reduced swelling and bruising. Application for 10-15 minutes several times daily can help reduce inflammation and discomfort. Additionally, the cold causes a physiologic response that lowers blood flow to the area, reducing the potential for further bleeding and hematoma. Additional measures include reducing physical activity for 2 weeks post-operatively. Strenuous activities like running and weightlifting can aggravate tissues and cause inflammation.

Foods that help healing

Following surgery is one of the most pivotal windows to eating optimally to speed recovery, promote healing, and reduce complications. Choose foods high in fiber to prevent constipation, including whole-grain bread, oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice. These also contain zinc, magnesium, and B vitamins that help heal and fight infection. Fruits and vegetables add fiber and a host of vitamins, including vitamins C and E, that act as antioxidants to help the body repair. Look for citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits, as well as grapes, blueberries, and pomegranates. Vegetable choices should include carrots, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and sweet potatoes. Healthy fats in nuts, oils, and fish can help absorb nutrients and reduce inflammation. These are also protein-rich and furnish building blocks to repair and heal tissue. Look for olive oils, avocado, walnuts, flax seeds, and fatty fish, including tuna, salmon, whitefish, and sardines.

Other methods to promote healing and reduce complications

The body is composed of 60% water. Drinking water and staying hydrated are paramount to optimal healing after surgery. Staying hydrated pre- and post-operatively enhances recovery and healing with fewer complications. It also helps the kidneys remove waste products and anesthetic medications given during surgery. Most healthcare providers typically recommend drinking 64oz of water daily. Avoid caffeine from coffee, tea, or energy drinks, as this can alter the body’s hydration status as well as impede the healing process, according to research studies. Instead, try decaffeinated substitutes as needed.

Final tips for optimizing recovery after a facelift

While some bleeding and bruising are expected after a facelift, there are steps to take that can minimize a smoother recovery and reduce complications, including a hematoma. Discuss any pre-existing conditions like high blood pressure and current medications with the surgical team, including blood thinning medications and vitamins and supplements. Following post-surgical instructions is crucial, including applying ice packs and adhering to limitations on physical activity. Maintain a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. Lastly, avoid smoking and stay hydrated by drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily. These recommendations can lead to a more comfortable recovery, minimize complications, and help achieve the desired aesthetic outcome.

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