A hematoma represents extravasation of blood outside the blood vessels. This accumulation of blood is generally caused by hemorrhage. In hematoma the blood is organized and is surrounded by different tissues. A hematoma may develop as one of potential complication of many surgeries. In this case the very collection of the blood accumulates in a post surgical site.
Hematoma after surgery develops several hours after a surgical procedure. It is a consequence of damage to the nearby blood vessels and it may be also connected to poor after care of the patient. Hematoma is a common side effect of certain surgeries such as episiotomy, c-section surgery, cholecystectomy, abdominoplasty, breast augmentation, facelift surgery and it may also occur after some dental surgeries.
The affected area is painful and one may report a feeling of fullness while the skin changes its normal color and becomes blue or purple. In mild cases the bleeding stops spontaneously while in more severe cases a hematoma may become significantly large and compress the nearby tissues and cause lack of oxygen. The skin parts deprived of oxygen may eventually die. Furthermore, large hematomas also carry a risk of infection.
Hematoma after Surgery: Causes
In majority of cases the formation of hematoma after surgery is accidental. Before they close the wound, the surgeons pay special attention to all the blood vessels and they make sure that there is no bleeding. Bleeding is successfully stopped with cauterization (a method which uses an electric current to form a blood clot). There is a possibility that a blood clot falls off which leads to bleeding and subsequent formation of hematoma at the post surgical site.
One more cause of hematoma after surgery is intake of certain medications, to be more precise intake of anticoagulant medications such as Aspirin and heparin. These medications must be abstained from at least 2-3 weeks prior the surgery since they increase risk for hematoma after surgery.
And finally, increased blood pressure as well as bleeding disorders increase chance of hematoma after surgery. Blood pressure can elevate due to exercise, straining, vomiting etc. This is why all the activities which may increase blood pressure are strictly forbidden after the surgery.
Hematoma after Surgery: Treatment
The treatment for hematoma after surgery generally depends on its size. In case of mild hematoma the blood collection dissolves spontaneously within a couple of days. In severe cases patients may require surgical removal of the blood which is obtained with proper drainage. The blood vessels which bleed are clamped down. Pain is alleviated with analgesics and anti-inflammatory medications.