Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Symptoms of Hematoma After Tummy Tuck

Tummy tuck surgery is a good option to transform your midsection and feel more confident after weight loss or pregnancy. But like all other surgical interventions, a tummy tuck entails a recovery period that could be shorter or longer, depending on the complexity of each case. The most common side effects that you can experience during recovery are swelling and bruising. Let’s find out how you can reduce the swelling and bruising after tummy tuck to have a better recovery.

In this guide, we review the symptoms of hematoma after tummy tuck, encapsulated hematoma after tummy tuck, signs of hematoma after breast reduction, and hematoma at the incision site after surgery.

Symptoms of hematoma after tummy tuck

A hematoma is a common potential complication that can occur after a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty procedure. It is characterized by discolouration along the incision site, resembling bruising, and can also present with severe swelling. By following all post-care instructions diligently, such as avoiding strenuous activities and wearing compression garments as directed, you can help minimize the risk of developing a hematoma. If you notice any signs or symptoms of a hematoma, it is important to contact your surgeon immediately for further evaluation and treatment.

Patients who have recently undergone plastic surgery should be vigilant for any signs of hematoma, a potential complication that can occur post-operatively. One of the most common symptoms of a hematoma is discoloration around the incision site that resembles severe bruising or a collection of blood under the skin. In addition to this, patients may also experience sudden and severe swelling that is uneven and accompanied by pain in the affected area. It is important for patients to seek medical attention if they notice any of these symptoms, as prompt treatment is necessary to prevent further complications.

What Is a Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)?

A Tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is a cosmetic surgery procedure that can help give you a flatter and toned abdomen. The procedure removes excess skin and fat while tightening weak or split abdominal muscles. It is the right procedure for those who have recently lost a substantial amount of weight or women who had one or multiple pregnancies.

Swelling and Bruising Post Tummy Tuck

After a tummy tuck, your body’s healing response will kick in. As a part of the process, your body will send an influx of fluid and white blood cells to the injury site which usually leads to swelling and bruising. Don’t worry as it is a natural part of the healing process but it may prevent you from showing off your new and improved silhouette. With the right steps, you can minimise these effects to see the final results of your procedure sooner.

Tips for Reducing Swelling and Bruising Post Tummy Tuck

Swelling and bruising are inevitable parts of the healing process. Follow these steps to help your body heal quickly and effectively, and avoid any adverse side effects or complications.

1. Take the Time to Rest

Post tummy tuck surgery, you need time to heal and recover. Stay clear of strenuous activities including cardiovascular exercise, weight training, or lifting anything heavy around the house. It is important to make it a priority to get enough sleep every night and take naps throughout the day. Allow your body to rest as it will help the healing process.

2. Follow a Healthy Diet

A healthy diet plays a very important role in maintaining your immunity. It is very important to fuel your body with nourishing foods. Choose foods that are rich in protein, as it helps with the tissue repair process post-surgery. Eat foods that are high in Vitamin C and A. Include plenty of lean proteins, whole grains, and vegetables, and limit your intake of processed foods. Make sure your fibre intake is optimal to maintain digestion and avoid constipation. Stay clear of foods that cause gastrointestinal distress or discomfort. Limit foods that are high in fat, sugar, and dairy products as they can cause more swelling and inflammation.

3. Minimise Your Sodium Intake

Excessive salt can lead to swelling and bloating. It might lead to increased discomfort. The recommendation is to choose foods that are low in sodium and adjust the amount of salt in your meals. Consume plenty of fruit and vegetables, as they will balance out the salt in your body.

4. Drink Lots of Water & Fluids

Keeping your body well-hydrated encourages healing. Drink enough water to heal throughout the day. Stay clear of alcohol and caffeinated beverages, as they can dehydrate your body. Keep a water bottle near your bedside and drink tiny sips throughout the day. You can add lemon wedges and strawberries to your water, as it can make the water taste better.

5. Choose Gentle Activity

Strenuous activities interfere with the natural healing response of the body. However, it is important to move lightly around the house. A bit of gentle exercise will stimulate blood flow and improve circulation throughout the body. Try walking for a few minutes around your house. Avoid anything that can put a strain on your incisions.

6. Wear your Compression Garment

A compression garment will help minimise the swelling around the midsection. It will help limit the amount of fluid that accumulates in the body. Your surgeon will decide on the timeline. Initially, you will have to wear it 24/7 for a few weeks. After some time, you can take it off while sleeping. This one step alone is crucial in helping your recovery journey and getting better results. Check out the Compression Garment after Tummy Tuck.

7. Take All the Prescribed Medication Regularly

After your tummy tuck surgery, your surgeon will recommend or prescribe the medication to help reduce swelling and discomfort. Do not miss your scheduled medications if you want a comfortable recovery. Stay clear of any blood-thinning medications, herbal supplements, and any medication that your surgeon hasn’t prescribed, as it increases the risk of bruising. Follow your surgeon’s instructions or get in touch with the clinic if you have any concerns regarding themedicationss.

8. Maintain Your Drainage Tubes

Drainage tubes are medical devices that prevent your body from accumulating fluids. Your surgeon may recommend you keep these tubes for at least a couple of days post-surgery. Make sure to empty out the drainage tubes as per the instructions given to you.

9. Avoid Smoking and Drinking Alcohol

Smoking and drinking alcohol are to be avoided after undergoing plastic surgery. They not only hinder the healing process but can lead to severe complications. Make sure to avoid smoking for at least 6 to 8 weeks or as per your surgeon’s recommendations.

10. Attend your Follow-up Appointments

After the tummy tuck, you will have a schedule of follow-up appointments. It ensures that your body is healing at the right pace and you are not dealing with any adverse side effects. Make sure to attend the follow-up consultations, as this enables your surgeon to detect any problems and take necessary steps to avoid complications.

11. Ice can help with Bruising

Make sure to apply a wrapped ice pack to the bruises. The ice will contract the blood vessels, which can help stop internal bleeding and minimise the look and size of bruising. You can continue to use a cold compress for the first two to three days post-surgery. Be careful to avoid an ice burn.

12. Vitamin K can help

Incorporate foods that contain high volumes of vitamin K. Vitamin K makes your blood slightly thicker, which can help minimize bruising. Nearly all leafy greens are rich in vitamin K; especially kale and spinach.

encapsulated hematoma after tummy tuck


After confirmation of the seroma on CT scan, the patient underwent a bedside aspiration of the seroma in the clinic. Around 60 ml of serosanguinous fluid was aspirated. She was then advised for better aspiration, under radiological guidance. She underwent multiple ultrasound-guided aspirations over the course of six months. During this course, the compressive garment was kept for the whole time. The patient was reluctant for another surgical intervention and continued conservative management, for a period. She received multiple oral antibiotics according to her culture and sensitivity results. Table 1 summarizes the sequence of events. However, no complete resolution of the seroma was noted. The patient was thoroughly explained that all forms of conservative management have been exhausted, thus surgical intervention was the only acceptable mode of management for complete resolution. On June 14, 2017, the patient underwent redo-abdominoplasty and seroma excision. The incision was taken over the previous scar line, and the abdominal flap was raised. There was a thick encapsulated seroma just above the rectus sheet, encircling the umbilicus. It was drained and the capsule was excised fully along with the posterior wall. The site was washed with acetic acid, and then it was irrigated with diluted triamcinolone. Re-do abdominoplasty was then carried out similar to her previous operation. The patient was reviewed by the infectious disease team, following the operation. They had advised intravenous Piperacillin- Tazobactam and Metronidazole as an inpatient.

 For table 1 refer to pdf.

She was discharged on Ciprofloxacin, based on the recommendations of the infectious team, given the positive culture results. At the follow-up assessment, there was no evidence of the recurrence of the seroma or collection. Her redivac drains were removed after 10 days, postoperatively. Upon review in the clinic, there was no more abdominal distention or swelling. Her wounds had healed completely, and the patient was started on scar therapy in the form of silicon-based gel application. Her scar matured with no hypertrophy formation. An ultrasound study was done, and it was unremarkable for any persistent collections.

Outcome and follow-up

 Following the redo-abdominoplasty, the patient was started on intravenous antibiotics as per infectious disease advise. She stayed in the hospital for two days, had an uneventful course of admission, and was discharged with drains on oral ciprofloxacin. A new compressive garment was prescribed for the patient, which was kept for two months, thereafter. Her drains were removed around 10 days postoperatively. She was reviewed regularly in clinic with close intervals. The biopsy results were also discussed with the patient during an early visit. It was reported as thick fibro-inflammatory tissue with adipose tissue and fibrinous material in the center. There were no granulomas or malignant cells seen. On recent follow-up, the patient was complaining of on- and off-, non-specific abdominal pain, usually following meals. An ultrasound scan of the abdomen was done which was unremarkable for any intra-abdominal pathology or fluid collection. She was referred to the appropriate specialty for further investigations.

signs of hematoma after breast reduction

Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner and freelance healthcare writer with over a decade of medical oncology and hematology experience.

Douglas A. Nelson, MD, is a board-certified oncologist and hematologist who previously served for 13 years as a physician in the US Air Force.

A breast hematoma is a collection of blood that forms under the skin’s surface, very similar to having a large bruise in your breast. Although it is not cancerous, it could possibly be alarming to feel, as it may be painful or tender, or feel like a lump in the breast.

A breast hematoma can happen to anyone, regardless of age or menopausal status. Trauma or medical procedures like a breast biopsy or breast surgery may be the cause. Breast hematomas are usually visible on a mammogram and can sometimes look suspicious on other imaging as well. Treatment usually consists simply of waiting for the hematoma to go away over time, but surgery may sometimes be needed.

This article will review the symptoms associated with a breast hematoma, as well as how it is diagnosed and treated.

Breast Hematoma Symptoms

You can usually see and feel a hematoma because it’s often just below the skin, where blood has collected and clotted together. The pooled blood may cause inflammation and swelling. The skin above a hematoma can appear to be bruised and, in the case of surgery, broken.

When feeling a hematoma, it may feel like a firm lump beneath the skin. That can be frightening if you’re familiar with the common symptoms of breast cancer.

Most hematomas are small (about the size of a grain of rice), but some can be as big as plums or even a grapefruit.


A breast hematoma may be caused in several ways. Most of the time, you will recall an injury that caused the hematoma.

Possible causes of a hematoma include:

Those on aspirin or blood thinners, such as Coumadin (warfarin), Eliquis (apixaban), or Xarelto (rivaroxaban) are at particular risk for a hematoma regardless of meeting the criteria above.

If symptoms occur without an injury, the specific cause of the hematoma may need further investigation through surgery or another procedure.


Diagnosing a hematoma may require imaging of the breast and, in some cases, a biopsy.

A small hematoma probably won’t be seen on a mammogram. However, if the hematoma is large enough to be seen, it will usually appear as a well-defined oval mass. If it resolves on its own, it won’t appear on your next mammogram.

Spots on mammograms that are more suspicious for cancer appear with a spiky outline. Hematomas may have some suspicious-appearing features due to scarring or how the hematoma affected the breast tissue.

Hematomas often leave behind calcifications (calcium deposits) as well, but these are large in contrast to the microcalcifications on a mammogram that raise suspicion of possible cancer.

Hematomas are also found along with seromas, pockets of fluid in the breast that frequently occur after breast surgery. A breast ultrasound is often the best test for evaluating a possible seroma.

While breast hematomas can leave behind scarring that sometimes mimics breast cancer, they do not increase the chance that a person will develop breast cancer in the future.

Hematoma vs. Tumors

In the case of a questionable breast mass, such as a hematoma that causes scar tissue and resembles a tumor, an ultrasound after an abnormal mammogram can detect if it is a hematoma. In some cases, a biopsy may be performed if the imaging continues to look suspicious. The pathology report can tell you whether the mass is benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).


For small breast hematomas, no specific treatment may be needed. The body will absorb the blood from the bruise and it will eventually go away on its own. A heating pad or compress may help speed the process along.

Larger breast hematomas may need to be surgically removed. In some cases, it is possible for a breast hematoma to spontaneously recur.

Breast hematomas are a collection of blood in the breast. Although these can occur without an injury, most are due to an injury or surgical procedure. The hematoma may show up on breast imaging, and it may need a biopsy if it appears abnormal in any way. A hematoma is not cancer, and many times no specific treatment is needed.

hematoma at incision site after surgery

A hematoma is a collection of blood that develops outside of the blood vessels, usually near the incision site, after surgery. Patients that notice any discoloration around the incision that looks similar to severe bruising or a collection of blood under the skin may be developing a hematoma. Other symptoms of hematoma after plastic surgery include severe, uneven, and sudden swelling, as well as pain in the affected area. Hematomas usually develop within 48 hours of surgery.

Discuss Medication History

While the risk of getting a hematoma is relatively low for most patients, it is still a real risk. This risk is increased for patients that are taking certain medications. Prior to scheduling a surgical appointment, patients should inform their doctors of the medications they are taking and the existence of any type of coagulant disorder or issues with the blood.

What to Avoid before Surgery

There are a few precautions patients can take before surgery to reduce the risk of a hematoma. Patients should avoid any blood thinning medications, including aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs. Patients should avoid these drugs before, during, and after surgery, until they are cleared to start using them again. Additionally, it is important to avoid alcohol a few weeks before the surgery, as this will help minimize inflammation after surgery.

What to Avoid after Surgery

Dr. Mark Deuber will discuss with patients in detail ways to reduce the risk of developing a hematoma. He will let patients know how long they should continue to avoid certain drugs, vitamins, and alcohol.

Additionally, patients should avoid excessive heat after the surgery. Being exposed to heat – including the sun, hot tubs, and heating pads – can increase the chance of a hematoma.

For patients that experience post-operative nausea, the act of vomiting can increase the risk of hematoma. Patients are urged to rest until all nausea passes.

Finally, patients should suppress the temptation to exercise or engage in activity that could raise blood pressure. This will keep inflammation and swelling to a minimum. One of the best things patients can do to heal and avoid any complications is to simply take it easy for a while.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *