Hematoma After a Breast Lift, Will the Breast Become Normal Again?

I had a breast lift without implant and after 10 days a had a large hematoma but the surgeon decided not to remove the blood until on day 16 of the hematoma the breast became very hard and compressed and blood started to come out of the verticle incision. I had a second surgery and had the blood removed but after a week the breast is still very hard from the anchor part and swollen. Will my breast heal and return to normal? Will the hardness disappear and the breast will gain its natural form?

Doctor Answers 13

Breast hematoma

Thank you for your question. A hematoma can be very mild or very pronounced in its presentation. A mild one may induce slightly more swelling and increased bruising and will likely resolve on its own. A more severe hematoma can result in dramatic asymmetry in terms of swelling, feelings of light headedness due to loss of blood, severe bruising, and can be rapidly growing. If you every experience the latter, then I would contact your surgeon immediately and if you have trouble, you may even go to the ER. Larger hematomas often have to be surgically drained.
After drainage, you may find that it takes weeks for the swelling and firmness to resolve as the tissue has gone through a lot.  I would continue to follow-up with your surgeon closely.

Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Breast lift

Your breast should return to normal, but it may take 3 months for all of the swelling and firmness to go away.

Gregory Sexton, MD
Columbia Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Post Operative Hemtoma

Thank you for the question. There is a significant amount of swelling in the breasts in part from the surgery as well as the hematoma formation. This in turn causes the breast to become firm and tense. In time the swelling and thus the firmness should resolve and return to it's normal state but will require months to do so. On occasion other sequelae may occur secondary to the hematoma requiring revision.

At this point be patient and continue to follow up closely with your plastic surgeon and voice your concerns. They are in a position to better guide you through your post operative course. I hope this helps. Best wishes.

Pedro M. Soler, Jr., MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Your breast will return to normal in time.

A hematoma is a recognized possible complication from a breast lift.  The blood in the tissues creates inflammation of the tissues, resulting in firmness and soreness.  Luckily this will resolve and though it may takes several months, the breast tissue will eventually soften and the breasts will regain their form.  Patience is most important now.  Gentle warm compresses may help with discomfort and speed the resolution.  Keep following up with your surgeon.

Jeffrey M. Darrow, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

Edema Vs Fat Necrosis

Most likely, the breast tissue is still swollen from the bleeding into the tissue. The other possibility is that you could have some fat necrosis.  This typically takes longer to resolve but tends to mostly soften with time.  I would recommend discussing this matter further with your surgeon.

George Bitar, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Hematoma after breast lift

Thank you for your question. Hematomas can occur after any surgery, including breast lifts. If the blood from the hematoma is completely drained, the breast will eventually soften and return to its normal appearance. Unfortunately, the hematoma can create a significant amount of inflammation, which can lead to the hardness of the breast. This takes a significant amount of time to resolve, often several months. However, eventually your breasts will return to normal and your result should not be affected.

Best of luck with your breasts.

Jeff Rockmore

Jeffrey Rockmore, MD
Albany Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Your breast will likely become normal again

The firmness is likely from inflammation and swelling from the blood collection.  As there is no implant, there is unlikely to be hardness of the breast after everything recovers. Please give things some time and everything should be fine.  In your situation it is unlikely to be any hardness after everything resolves.

Best regards,

Shim Ching, MD

Shim Ching, MD
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Resolution of Hematoma after Breast Lift

    If the drainage of the hematoma is performed promptly, the hardness that has developed should return to normal in the following weeks.  

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Resolution of hematoma

The skin and tissue will most likely return to normal, but it might take several months to do so. Warm compresses or massage may be indicated to help speed up the healing process. But mostly, the inflammatory changes just need time to resolve. 

Wm. Todd Stoeckel, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Hematoma after Breast Lift; Final Results Normal?

I'm sorry to hear about the complication you experienced after breast lifting surgery. Generally speaking, if the area of the breast is “hard” because of the inflammation associated with the hematoma  and additional surgery, you will find that the breast will go on to soften and “return to normal”. However, if you are experiencing a separate problem such as fat necrosis, additional time and/or intervention may be necessary to achieve satisfactory final results.

 At this point, I would suggest that you continue to follow-up with your plastic surgeon who is in the best position to advise you more precisely.

 Best wishes; hopefully, you will be very pleased with the long-term outcome of the procedure performed.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 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.