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What is a hematoma?

A hematoma is collection of blood that can form after surgery. It usually results when a vessel starts to leak blood after your surgery has been completed.

Hematomas are not very common, less than 1% in most surgeries and a bit higher with facial surgery. But, they are always a risk whether you are having a Breast Aug, Facelift, or Tummy Tuck. In fact, a hematoma can occur after almost any surgery. If they occur, unfortunately, a second surgery will usually be required to drain the blood.

When the occur it is almost always within the first 24 hours after surgery. During this time period, at about the 6-8 hour point, your body actually starts to release proteins that break down blood clots to keep you from clotting too much. When this happens, the clot on the end of a tiny blood vessel that was not bleeding during surgery can dissolve and bleeding ensues. This can lead to a hematoma.

The good news is that in the vast majority of cases, the diagnosis is made quickly, treatment rendered, and in the end your surgical result and health are in good stead!

Lee Corbett, MD

All posts on this blog are presented by Louisville Plastic Surgeon Dr. Lee Corbett.

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