How can I Minimize Bruising After Facial Plastic Surgery?
There are factors that can be addressed before, during, and after plastic surgery to minimize the risk of bruising. However, bruising can occur after any injectable procedure (even Botox) or surgery. Our goal is to reduce this risk and minimize the amount of bruising that occurs following surgery with Dr. Weber.
Why Does Bruising Occur After Plastic Surgery?
Every surgical or injectable procedure carries the risk of bruising. Any procedure can result in small injuries to blood vessels. If one of those blood vessels oozes a small amount of blood following the procedure, you can develop a bruise.
How Long Will my Bruising Last?
Most bruising is mild and resolves within 5-7 days following surgery. In rare cases, bruising can be dark, dense, and last for 1-2 weeks. While this is very uncommon, the below tips should be followed to minimize the severity and longevity of bruising.
Top Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Bruising After Surgery
- If you take a prescription blood thinner medication (such as Warfarin/ Coumadin, Heparin, Lovenox, Eliquis, Pradaxa, Xarelto, and others) to protect your brain, heart or blood vessels, please let us know immediately. In many cases, these medications can be stopped briefly to allow you to undergo elective surgery. Dr. Weber will confer with your treating physician(s) to determine if this is safe for you.
- You can continue to take Tylenol (Acetaminophen) containing medications for mild discomfort and headache before and immediately after surgery. Tylenol (Acetaminophen) will not thin your blood or raise the risk of bruising.
- Aspirin-containing medications MUST be stopped at least two (2) weeks before surgery and avoided for at least two (2) weeks following surgery. Bleeding complications that result from Aspirin can be severe and very difficult to manage. You can find a full list of over-the-counter medications to avoid here.
- NSAIDS (Ibuprofen, Aleve, Motrin, naproxen, others) must be stopped at least two (2) weeks before your procedure date. However, it is acceptable to restart Ibuprofen/ Motrin/ Advil (600 mg) immediately following surgery. These medications provide significant pain relief with minimal effect on bruising and can help reduce your need to take prescription narcotic pain medication.
- Discontinue ALL vitamins and herbals, including Green Tea, at least two (2) weeks before your treatment or surgery. You can find a full list of over-the-counter herbs and supplements to avoid here.
- Discontinue alcohol at least five (5) days prior to your procedure date and abstain for at least five (5) days following surgery.
- Ice packs will help minimize bruising during the first 48-72 hours following any procedure. We advise that you use ice packs or frozen peas wrapped in a thin washcloth to avoid frostbite injuries to your skin from the ice pack. Beginning five (5) days postop, you should alternate ice (10 minutes) followed by warm compresses (10 minutes) over bruised areas. This can be repeated five times daily until the discoloration has resolved.
- Wear compression garments as recommended. Do not remove any dressings, splints, or garments unless advised to by our staff.
- Sleep with your head elevated on two or more pillows (or elevate the head of your bed with phone books) so that your head is more elevated than your heart for the first three (3) days following your procedure. This will minimize swelling and bruising following your facial procedure.
- Avoid any exercise that raises your heart rate or causes you to become “winded” for at least five (5) days following your procedure, as this may worsen your bruising. You may restart your entire exercise regimen beginning post-op day five (5).
- Bromelain (an enzyme found in pineapple) can be taken to minimize bruising and swelling. We recommend starting Bromelain at least two to three days before your procedure. Take the enzyme for one week after your treatment. Bromelain is available at Sprouts, Vitamin Cottage, as well as most pharmacies and health food stores.
What can be done if I Develop a Severe Bruise?
We can utilize a Pulsed Dye Laser (V Beam Perfecta) to speed up recovery from severe bruising. This can be done as soon as one day after your procedure. We offer this treatment as a no-cost courtesy to our patients to speed their recovery.