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 14

Hematoma after breast reduction

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

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         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‚Äôs 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. 

Hematoma after Breast Reduction?

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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.

Treating hematoma after breast surgery

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From your description, this sounds like a pretty good sized hematoma. I am curious how long after the surgery you noted the hematoma. I would also like to know if you had a drain and if the doctor tried to aspirate the hematoma.

By this point in time most hematomas have started to become more liquid and may be easier to drain. I would suggest speaking to your doctor and ask him what his plan is as you are concerned enough to come on this website for answers. Obviously without seeing you or knowing your particular circumstances I couldn't make a treatment plan nor would I try to.

Sitting down with your plastic surgeon I feel is the best start to treatment. Good luck.

Treatment of hematomas

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If your breast is twice the size, there is enough blood or fluid in it that the blood flow to the skin can be compromised. This would have shown up by 3 weeks but either way, the proper treatment of a significant hematomas is surgical drainage opening the incisions and cleaning out the blood. Regardless of what country you are in...

Breast hematoma

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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.

Hematoma After Breast Reduction Surgery

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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
4.8 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

Address the issue now

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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

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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
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

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

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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

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.