Bleeding After Surgery
Dr. Vennemeyer and Dr. Loftus provide information to inform you of the risk of a hematoma developing after breast augmentation surgery, how to reduce the risk of hematomas, how to identify a hematoma, and how exercising too soon after surgery affects the risk of hematoma.
A hematoma is a blood collection that can accumulate around the breast implant after breast augmentation surgery. Most hematomas appear either within a day of surgery or about three weeks later. Hematomas which occur shortly after surgery usually do so because of blood vessel spasm during surgery which relaxed afterward, thereby allowing that vessel to bleed. Hematomas which occur weeks later usually do so during the natural phase of clot lysis, during which time your body naturally reabsorbs blood clots which you formed during surgery. If, during that time, your heart rate is elevated or you are exerting yourself physically, then your risk of hematoma after breast augmentation surgery will increase.
Hematomas usually require an additional operation for removal, as untreated hematomas are painful and increase the likelihood of capsular contracture and infection. The overall risk of hematoma is less than 2 percent, but it is higher in those who take aspirin or ibuprofen and in those who return to a physically demanding occupation or resume exercise too soon.
You may reduce your risk of hematoma by avoiding increasing your heart rate for four weeks after surgery. This may seem like an inordinate time for those who are eager to return to exercise, but not doing so will increase your risk of hematoma, which is a potentially serious problem.