Plastic Surgery and Bruising: What Patients Can Expect By on June 10, 2015

A woman outside smiling and laughingDr. Gregory T. Mesna is one of the leading cosmetic surgeons serving the greater Minneapolis area. He offers advanced facial plastic surgery procedures for wrinkle reduction and anti-aging as well as advanced body sculpting surgery to trim, tone, and enhance overall body contour.

Many patients who are considering surgery have questions about bruising after their procedure. Let's take a few moments to address these matters right now.

Why Bruising Occurs After Surgery

A bruise forms when the blood vessels have been harmed or damaged in some way. When this happens, the blood vessels leak blood, resulting in a purple, red, or otherwise discolored hue to the skin. The bruising goes away as the blood vessels heal, though the discoloration can last for a little bit.

Is post-surgical bruising avoidable?


Surgery will involve some amount of damage to the blood vessels, even small blood vessels such as the capillaries. That said, bruising is not an awful thing. It's just a natural side effect of any surgery, and there are many options for reducing the duration and severity of bruising that a patient experiences.

How long does bruising last after plastic surgery?

This can vary from patient to patient and depending on the surgery that has been performed. In general, the most significant bruising after surgery will last for a few days, though mild bruising can last up to two weeks.

You should notice bruises becoming lighter after a few days of rest, going from dark in color to lighter and/or yellowish with time.

Tips for Dealing with Bruises After Plastic Surgery

In order to reduce the severity of bruising and make the bruises go away sooner, we recommend the following:

  • Avoid Using Tobacco Products – Tobacco products impede your body's ability to heal. Be sure to avoid using tobacco products in the weeks leading into surgery and the weeks after surgery.

  • Avoid Drinking Alcohol – Like tobacco, alcoholic beverages will similarly result in problems with healing. Be sure to avoid having alcoholic beverages before and after a surgical procedure.

  • Make Rest Your Primary Focus – In order to heal quickly, it's important for patients to focus on resting and not exerting themselves. Be sure to refrain from major physical activities. When laying down, be sure to do so at an incline rather than flat on your back. Elevation often helps with circulation and management of bruises.

  • Use Cold Compresses as Directed – Cold compresses are often recommended after surgery in order to reduce swelling, minimize discomfort, and help control bruising. Be sure to use these as directed to treat your surgical side effects.

  • Wear Your Compression Garments/Surgical Dressings – Following surgery, patients will receive specific instructions about surgical dressings and/or compression garments. Be sure to follow these instructions closely in order to help minimize bruising and improve your healing experience.

  • Stay Well-Hydrated as You Are Healing – Hydration is key to wellness. Be sure to stay well hydrated as you are recovering since this can help improve your overall healing experience.

Schedule a Consultation for Advanced Plastic Surgery

For more information about the side effects of surgical rejuvenation procedures, it's important that you contact our cosmetic plastic surgery center today. When you meet with Dr. Mesna, you'll be able to learn more about the risks and benefits of every procedure and make well-informed decisions about all of your needs.

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Dr. Gregory T. Mesna

Mesna Plastic Surgery & Aesthetic Center

Gregory T. Mesna MD, FACS, is a board-certified plastic surgeon with over 20 years of top-level experience. He performs a wide range of surgical and non-surgical procedures to enhance and rejuvenate the face, body, and breasts. He is proud to be affiliated with:

  • The American College of Surgeons (Fellow)
  • The American Board of Plastic Surgery
  • The Minnesota Society of Plastic Surgeons
  • The American Society of Plastic Surgeons

You can request a free consultation at our office in Minneapolis, MN, by contacting us online or calling (952) 927-4556.

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