Dallas plastic surgeon Paul Pin performs all types of plastic surgery procedures on patients. He uses advanced tools and techniques to limit the severity of post-surgical side effects. One side effect of surgery, bruising, can be minimized when patients undergo treatment with a skilled plastic surgeon and follow all post-operative instructions.
Why Do Bruises Occur?
When the blood vessels are injured, they bleed into the surrounding tissue, causing the skin to turn the red, black, or purple tone that is known as bruising. To minimize bruising, plastic surgeons and patients should take measures to reduce bleeding, work the blood out of the affected area, and encourage healing of the blood vessels.
Tips to Reduce Bruises
Here are some tips that can be followed to reduce the appearance of bruises after surgery.
- Elevation: Elevating the area of the body that has been operated on will decrease bleeding and swelling.
- Ice: An ice pack should be applied to bruises during the first two to three days. The ice will cause the blood vessels to contract, stopping the bleeding and minimizing the size of the bruise.
- Certain medications: Patients should not take NSAIDs and other medications that thin the blood before and after surgery. Talk to your plastic surgeon during your initial consultation and let him or her know which medications you have taken in the past few years, and any that you intend to take in the near future. Your surgeon can let you know if any of your regular medications or herbs have blood thinning properties.
- Compression: Pressure should be applied to the injured area immediately. Compression, whether through a garment, tape, or bandages, will help to stop the bleeding and prevent the blood from seeping out further into the skin. Once the bleeding has stopped, compression will no longer offer any benefit in terms of bruising. However, compression will help reduce inflammation, which commonly accompanies bruising.
- Heat: After 48 to 72 hours, patients should switch from ice packs to a heat pad. Applying heat to the bruises will improve blood flow and aid in the removal of damaged red blood cells in the tissues.
- Bruise reduction supplements: SINECCH, arnica montana, bromelain have been shown to reduce bruising.
- Vitamin K: Foods that are high in Vitamin K will encourage the blood to become thicker, thereby reducing bruising. Foods that are high in vitamin K include kale and spinach.
For most patients, bruises fade completely within one or two weeks. The amount of time that it takes for bruising to fade depends on the degree of trauma, the individual's healing response, and post-operative care. When the patient follows Dr. Pin's tips to reduce bruising after plastic surgery, they can expect to see their bruises go away quickly.
- Stage 1: Initially, the bruise will be red
- Stage 2: After one or two days, the bruise will turn blue, black, or purple in color
- Stage 3: After five to 10 days, the bruise will turn a green or yellow color
- Stage 4: After 10 to 14 days, the bruise will turn to a brown tone
To schedule a plastic surgery consultation at the Dallas practice of Paul Pin, MD, contact us today.