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Risks of hematoma after plastic surgery

Tips on how to prevent this from happening

You will often hear the media talking about accidents in the world of plastic surgery as if a terrorist attack had occurred. Indeed, accidents do happen and some happen because of a bad surgeon or because a person is not authorized to do surgery (but is doing it) or because you ended up at a clinic overseas where you shouldn't be, but accidents like this happen in all hospitals and clinics every day in thousands. Unfortunately no one talks about them and since plastic surgery accidents have more "news" value they tend to be talked about more often. Basically, it is the "Fox News Effect." 

Picture of a nurse measuring blood pressure of a man.Having said that it is important to understand that plastic surgery has risks and some procedures like gastric bypass surgery have more risks than others.  But it is also important to understand that many accidents and complications can be attributed to the patients themselves. Many patients are not healthy enough for surgery or hide their condition. That is what many smokers do when they want to have a procedure.

Now ASPS is reporting that men who want to have a facelift should check their blood pressure first since men are twice more likely than women to develop hematoma, a type of blood clot, especially if they have higher blood pressure. According to their study, the incidence of hematoma in male patients significantly dropped to about four percent from 8.7 percent once all patients followed a strict blood pressure control regimen. Men are more likely to suffer from hematomas than women after a facelift due to skin differences. Men have thicker skin than women and more blood vessels, which requires more blood flow. The hair follicles on men’s faces produce the fastest-growing hair on a man’s body, also requiring a greater blood supply.

A hematoma is an abnormal, localized collection of clotted blood. One of the most common complications following a facelift, hematomas are not life threatening, easily corrected, and rarely interfere with final results if addressed by a plastic surgeon within 24 hours. If a hematoma occurs and is addressed quickly, it does not impact healing time.  (Related article:  Weight loss surgery lowers blood pressure)

Blood vessels are like plumbing. If the pressure is too high in your water pipes, they are going to start leaking. It is the same in people. After surgery, if a person’s blood pressure is too high, it will cause the little vessels in that area to bleed, according to Dr. Daniel Baker. “By controlling blood pressure before surgery, patients can significantly lower their risk for blood clots. I strongly urge men and women alike, who are considering plastic surgery, to make sure they have their blood pressure under control before undergoing any type of invasive cosmetic surgery.”

In order to reduce the chances of hematoma, here are few tips:
  • All patients must undergo a careful pre-operative evaluation by their plastic surgeon.
  • Manage and stabilize you blood pressure with the help of you family doctor.
  • Discontinue all medications that can cause bleeding, including aspirin, St. John’s wart, gingko and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) before surgery.

Recommended articles:  Information on plastic surgery for men     Lunch hour facelifts     Myths about plastic surgery

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