Will Hematoma Result to a Scar Tissue?

A baseball hit me hard in the left cheek, leaving me with a black eye. The bruising has since subsided, but I was left with a bump that I believe is a hematoma. It is about a quarter inch to a half inch in length width and depth. My question is: do hematomas like this usually dissipate back into the bloodstream with time or should I be worried about scar tissue? Is there anything that I can do to help with the recovery process?

Doctor Answers 3

Lets not put the cart before the horse.

It's important to not jump to conclusions.  First, if you've sustained a facial injury you should be evaluated by physician.  Its important to rule out any deeper injuries such as a possible fracture.  

It's obviously very difficult to make a diagnosis without examining you and without seeing a photo.  To address your questions; if this is/was a hematoma - it could firm up and lead to a more fibrous/dense area on your cheek.  That being said, this firmness is more the exception than the rule and I would suspect the hematoma would slowly liquefy and be absorbed by your body with no further sequelae.  After a hematoma has been there for 10 - 14 days, it can usually be drained with a needle or minor incision that usually heals really well with virtually no resultant scar.  

It's certainly true that hematomas and injuries can cause lipoatrophy (loss of fat), but its also important to recognize that injecting the region with a steroid can also cause lipoatrophy. 

I'd suggest you have the area thoroughly examined, and any concomitant injuries ruled out.   If your doctor feels this is a hematoma, they may suggest aspirating it/draining it with a needle - the right thing to do.  Once that's been done, I'd wait and see.  It can take 3 - 4 weeks for any residual bruising to clear up.  I'd follow you regularly for 3-months and make a determination at that point.  

In the meantime, apply continuous heat to the area in the form of a hot compress (hand towel soaked in water and placed on a plate in the microwave works great - but always feel it with your hand first and wait for it to cool before placing it on your face).  You should also massage the area regularly as this will help the bruise work its way out.

Hope this helps.

Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon

Could turn into deep scar

A hematoma can eventually turn into a deep scar. Heat and massage is about all you can do in the recovery process. An injection of cortisone may help but make sure your doctor knows how to do this or it could end up worse.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Traumatic hematoma and lumps, bumps, scars

Although the scar tissue may become firm and hard producing a visible lump in the short term, it is not unusual for the scar tissue to cause loss of fat and a depression over the long term.,

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 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.