3 weeks post-op, is this a bruise or a haematoma? Will it affect long-term results? thanks! (Photo)

hi there, I am three weeks post-op from a breast reduction today. overall I have been very happy with my healing, but I have noticed that I have a dark bruise on the underside of one of my breasts, which is not the case as the other. I have also noticed that the underside of that breast is slightly enlarged from the other side where the bruising is located. I always figured this was a bruise, but the fact that it is not going away and the space is swollen makes me wonder if it is a hematoma.

Doctor Answers 3

3 weeks Postop, is this a bruise or hematoma?

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Thank you for your question and photos!  It is difficult to completely determine issues such as yours without an examination. However, on your photos, I do appreciate the bruising that you have on your breasts. You very well have had a small bleed, which has since resolved, given the typical color changes of bruising. I do not see a significant difference in size of your breasts, which leads me to believe that there is no significant hematoma that requires surgical intervention. The color of the bruise and the location at the mist dependent portion of your breast along with the absence if significant asymmetry and swelling tend towards simple bruising. Certainly follow-up with your surgeon for examination. Ice packs and compression garments may help, if ok with your surgeon. Best wishes!

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

3 weeks post-op, is this a bruise or a haematoma?

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With the understanding that it's not possible to fully possible to assess someone via photos alone, it looks like you have more bruising on one side than the other but not necessarily a hematoma or even outside the range of what can occur with surgery on a routine basis.  You would, of course, need to be assessed by your surgeon in person in order to have this addressed appropriately.

Hematomas often present (appear) within the first few days of surgery, although it's not unheard of for them to appear later than that.  They are typically associated with unilateral pain and swelling, and a marked asymmetry..

At three weeks that is less likely to be the case and, overall, it looks like you're doing well.

Again, though, you should confirm all of this with your own surgeon.

I hope that this helps and good luck,

Dr. Alan Engler
Member of RealSelf100

Do I Have a Hematoma after Breast Reduction?

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  • I definitely recommend seeing your plastic surgeon to be evaluated as he/she will be able to examine your breasts and reassure you that everything is okay.  
  • Based upon your photos, it does appear that you have some more bruising on one side compared to the other, but sometimes this is the case after a breast reduction.
  • I would say that it is quite unlikely that you have a hematoma 3 weeks after your operation that would require operative drainage, but again, without actually examining you we can't tell you for sure.  
  • Small hematomas, by the way, will resolve on their own, and not every hematoma needs operative intervention.
  • Thanks for sharing!

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