Can a bruise leave permanent discoloration? (photo)

I am currently POD 4 from thigh liposuction with significant bruising. I had an ACL reconstruction 15 years ago and now am remembering that my bruising lasted almost a year. My physician then said that the blood tattooed my skin and could be permanent. Is this really possible? I have tried to ask my plastic surgeon here in Korea, but am having trouble with the language barrier. Any suggestions for helping it heal faster? I am using topical and oral arnica.

Doctor Answers 2

Bruising after liposuction

Thank you for asking about your liposuction and the bruising.
  • First, take no anti-inflammatories such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
  • Bruising can cause permanent discoloration for two reasons -
  • Either the iron in the blood stains the tissues
  • Or the irritation from blood causes skin darkening (called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.)
  • For now, leg elevation, gentle massage and warm soaks - if your surgeon approves - is all one can do.
  • Arnica topically and by mouth is unlikely to help but probably harmless.
  • Before having more surgery, a hematologist should evaluate you to be sure there is not a mild underlying bloot clotting disorder that needs treatment before future surgery.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Can a bruise leave permanent discoloration?

Thank you for your question and photo.  Bruising normally resolves over several weeks.  A small percentage of patients may have delayed bruising.  Hemosiderin is the breakdown product of blood, which causes a brown discoloration that can take 1-2 years to improve, but it may never completely dissipate. Best Wishes

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.