Bruising is normal after any surgery.
However, mostwomen undergoing a breast augmentation do not experience significant bruising.
After Breast Augmentation Bruising Basics
Girl, let me start by explaining what exactly a bruise is.
A bruise happens when some type of trauma or injury causes bleeding near the surface of your body without breaking the skin.
If you take a tumble you'll usually see a bruise start to appear within minutes to hours.
When the trauma is more serious (like surgery), you get bleeding deeper in your body's tissues and the blood gradually surfaces under your skin hours, to days after.
So, you may not see a bruise appear until a few days after your surgery.
Breast Augmentation Specific Bruising
Whether or not you will experience bruising (and how bad it'll be) after your breast augmentation depends on a few things:
Your plastic surgeon’s technique - the rapid recovery technique, for example, causes less bruising
The extent of your surgery - a lift with breast implants is more involved so would carry more risk of bruising
Any existing predisposition to bruising you have - this is why your plastic surgeon takes a full medical history before considering you fit for surgery
Stages of Bruising after Breast Implants
If you've ever had a bruise before you'll know that they can be very colorful!
Bruising also happens in stages.
The first few days after an injury is when the bruise develops. In this stage bleeding from the injury comes to the surface and you see red (it's red because it's from fresh blood leaking into your tissues).
Oxygen in blood is what makes blood red (science 101 girl!). The bruise changes from red and will then become darker and begin to look more bluish or purple as the blood loses the oxygen.
Within a few days of the injury your bruise can go even darker purple (and may even go black), as iron in your blood is broken down.
Then you enter the bruise healing stage. When the red blood cells of the bruise start to break down they release a protein called hemoglobin. You body does some clever stuff (this is way above my science paygrade now!) with the hemoglobin and changes it into other body chemicals (this is totally normal) that make your bruise then go through the rainbow of color changes.
You'll know your bruise is on the way out when is starts to go green. And when it starts to go yellow you can finally wave that bad boy goodbye!
Bruises are never one color though as the stages of healing can overlap. In all, it can take a week or more for a bruise to go through all the color changes you'd associate with it healing (red, blue, purple, black, green and yellow shades).
As you heal, any bruising will fade. Just be patient!
Preventing Bruising after a Breast Augmentation
Your plastic surgeon will try to limit the chances of you bruising by performing precise surgery (limiting the trauma to your body). There are a few things you can do at home to help minimize any bruising too:
You can ice the area.
You can take arnica montana (a homeopathic remedy for bruising). I'm a big advocate of the natural approach.
Follow your plastic surgeon's post op instructions to take it easy - being active too soon after surgery risks damage to your healing tissues, and bruising is just one possible problem that may result from over-exerting yourself.
Always check with your surgeon first!
Problem Bruising after Breast Implants
Because bruising is quite common after surgery it isn't considered a true complication.
Some patients bruise more than others - it's all part of the uniqueness of the healing process.
Bleeding after surgery is a problem if it presents as a 'hematoma', which is a potentially serious complication. A bruise and a hematoma are similar in that they are both caused by bleeding in the surgical space. But that's where the similarities end!
A hematoma is much bigger than a bruise and it also causes an area of swelling (where the excess blood collects under the skin), and it's associated with pain and a very tight feeling in the area.
A bruise, on the other hand, might be sore to the touch but usually only shows as skin discoloration (so, no pressure, swelling or pain).
If you are ever worried about something during your recovery (and beyond) you shouldn't hesitate to reach out to your plastic surgeon for advice!
Luckily, bruising after getting breast implants isn't a given. You can minimize your chances of bruising by choosing the right Board Certified plastic surgeon and following their post-op instructions. And if you do bruise, know that it will fade as you heal and before you know it! :)