Bruising is very common with cosmetic surgery and not considered a complication with plastic surgery. I advise my Maryland face lift surgery patients to expect some degree of bruising and swelling after surgery. Skin bruising may even occur with non-surgical cosmetic treatments such as lip enhancement or Botox wrinkle treatment.
On the other hand, a hematoma is a collection of blood under the skin which should normally be drained. Small blood collections can be observed and will be absorbed by the body. Hematoma is the most common complication with face lift surgery, with an overall estimated incidence of less than 5%. Most hematomas occur within 24 hours after the face lift surgery, but may occur several days afterward too. To help prevent bruising or hematoma, plastic surgeons advise their patients to limit strenuous activity for the early recovery period.
The most significant risk factors for bleeding with face and neck lift surgery are the following:
- platsymaplasty or neck surgery, as part of the face lift
- hypertension or high blood pressure
- blood thinners, including herbal medication, ibuprofen, aspirin, and similar medications
While a surgeon’s face plastic surgery experience plays a role, it is not as important risk factor as those outlined above. The best face lift surgeons in the world still get hematomas despite meticulous surgery. Fortunately, most hematomas are easily managed by your facelift surgeon and generally don’t develop into long-term problems.
The following may help reduce the chance of developing bruising or a hematoma:
- wear your gentle compressive dressing & elastic strap
- take arnica montana tablets before and after your procedure
- minimize pain & nausea after surgery
- avoid smoking before and after surgery
- avoid blood thinners, including herbal medications or teas
Lastly, by following the strict cosmetic surgery care instructions of your plastic surgeon, you will help reduce the chance you will develop a hematoma after your cosmetic surgery.