Hematoma After Breast Reduction Surgery

Hello, 19 days ago I've done breast reduction and lift (I had a C+ and asked 40% less, which doctor said he did). The problem is that my left breast is twice as swollen as the right one. Surgeon says it is a hematoma and I should just wait for it to go. Could you please tell me if this is normal? how long to wait? what if doesn't go away? thank you.

Doctor Answers 13

Hematoma Formation Following Breast Reduction Surgery May Occur for a Variety of Reasons

         Hematoma formation following breast reduction surgery can occur for a variety of reasons, but is fortunately rare. When post-operative hematomas are small, they often resolve spontaneously. Larger hematomas often require treatment to prevent secondary complications. Treatment may include repetitive needle aspirations, CT guided drain placement, or occasionally open surgical drainage.


         When large hematomas are not evacuated there’s an increased potential for wound breakdown, infection and scarring. These problems can ultimately impact the aesthetic result from breast reduction.


         Since your left breast is almost twice the size of your right breast, treatment is definitely indicated. Early intervention will ultimately minimize the potential for complications, improve your aesthetic result, and improve the quality of recovery. 

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Hematoma following a breast reduction

Hematomas can occur after any surgery including breast reduction.  Some surgeons place drains other do not.  A significant hematoma can occur even when drains are used, so a drain will not prevent this from occurring.  If your breast is twice as large as the other side then this is a hematoma that may need to be surgically drained as it can have a detrimental effect on healing causing more pain, stiffness of the soft tissue and generally delaying an otherwise uneventful recovery.   

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Hematoma after breast reduction

Hematoma is certainly one of the more common complications that can occur with breast reduction surgery. While there is no exact right answer, generally, if the involved breast is over 1.5 times the size of the other breast, I will typically drain this. More importantly, if I feel the hematoma will have a detrimental affect (wound healing,skin loss, infection) on the involved breast I will recommend a drainage procedure of some sort. This could be needle aspiration or an open procedure. A second opinion is worth while if you do not trust the answer you are getting from your surgeon.

Hematoma After Breast Reduction Surgery

Hematomas may occur following breast reduction surgery.  They can be managed medically or surgically.  If the hematoma is quite large and causing pain needle aspiration can be done in the office with quick alleviation of symptoms.  Uncommonly a patient has to go back to surgery for exploration and control of bleeding causing the hematoma.  Smaller hematomas can be watched and allowed to liquefy and drain.

Paul Vitenas, Jr., MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Hematoma after Breast Reduction?

Thank you for the question.

I'm sorry to hear about the complication you have experienced after breast reduction surgery.

If you and your surgeon have elected to manage the hematoma on surgically,  it may take several weeks for the hematoma to “liquefy”. Application of warm compresses over the area may help expedite this process.

If the hematoma is such that there is potential for compromise of blood flow to the surrounding tissues,  it should be evacuated ( and not managed expectantly).

Best wishes for an otherwise uneventful recovery.

Hematoma in breast

If you have a significant hematoma in one breast, you probably should have it evacuated because this could compromise the viability of the nipple or skin flaps.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Address the issue now

Hematoma can occur with breast reduction. The best treatment is to remove the hematoma. This will decrease the chance of that hematoma becoming infected. You should opt for treatment and not wait.

Hematoma after Breast reduction and lift

This depends on when the hematoma occured. Typically 7-10 days after a hematoma, the collection becomes a liquid and it can be emptied using a liposuction cannula or needle.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

After breast reduction, hematoma should be surgically removed right away.


Just going by your story, you need to have another operation to remove the hematoma after your breast reduction as soon as possible. See another doctor if you have to.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

You need to have drainage of the fluid

You have significant blood colllection oer your description and willl need to be drained. Your doctor may have a specific reason for the delay. Please discuss your concern with your doctor .

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.