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Plastic Surgery and Bruising: Minimizing Side Effects

By Dennis Hurwitz on May 23, 2017

Plastic Surgery and Bruising

Body contouring can have remarkable effects on your appearance and self-confidence. Depending on the procedure you choose, your entire figure may be slimmer. Even if your doctor addresses a smaller area, such as your arms, it can still transform your body.

Nonetheless, you may be hesitant to undergo treatment because you are concerned about plastic surgery and bruising. Some bruising is inevitable. However, at The Pittsburgh Center for Plastic Surgery in Pittsburgh, PA, we will take steps to minimize this side effect. Dr. Hurwitz will use precise surgical techniques to reduce tissue trauma. He will also provide pre-operative guidelines, healing tips, and monitor your bruises during your recovery.

Why Do Bruises Develop?

Bruises are to be expected after almost any type of surgery. A bruise will form when tiny blood vessels, called capillaries, break. The leaking blood will accumulate under the skin, forming a dark, reddish mark. Over time, the bruises will turn to a blue or purple shade as oxygen is cut off and hemoglobin changes color. As healing progresses, your body will naturally absorb the blood

Pre-surgical Preparation

Though you cannot eliminate bruising entirely, a few easy steps before your surgery can reduce its severity and help bruises to heal more quickly. First, you will need to stop taking certain medications, especially blood thinners, such as Coumadin®. You should also cut out specific natural supplements and foods that can have a similar effect. For example, gingko balboa, ginseng, ginger, and garlic can act as blood thinners. Further, you should stop smoking and avoid alcohol and caffeine for a few weeks before your surgery.

At the same time, other supplements and foods can actually promote faster healing and minimize bruising. Bromelain and quercetin are natural anti-inflammatory substances found in many fruits and vegetables. These include pineapples, apples, citrus, leafy greens, and red onions. It can help to eat more of these foods both before and after your surgery. The high levels of vitamins and nutrients will encourage better health and faster healing. You would need to eat a large amount to reap the most significant benefits, so Dr. Hurwitz will often recommend supplements before your surgery.


R.I.C.E. is an acronym for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. It is a four-step guide to the recovery process, though Dr. Hurwitz will adjust the regimen according to your unique needs. After surgery, you will need to take some time off of work to rest. Short, slow walks will stimulate healing and prevent blood clots, but you should not engage in strenuous exercise.

You should also use ice, as directed. Be sure to talk to your doctor before placing ice packs, as they can sometimes damage healing blood vessels. In virtually all cases, Dr. Hurwitz will provide compression bandages or garments, which will reduce bruising and, at the same time, improve the aesthetic results. Finally, if applicable, keeping the treatment area elevated can accelerate healing. Of course, this is not possible after certain procedures, such as a tummy tuck or Brazilian butt lift.

Choosing a Qualified Plastic Surgeon

Though nothing can ever fully eradicate bruising, the most effective way to limit it is to choose an experienced plastic surgeon. Dr. Hurwitz has been performing cosmetic and weight loss surgery since 1977, and he is widely recognized for his skill. With his precise techniques, he can lessen the impact of your surgery on the nearby areas. Furthermore, during your recovery, he will provide complete, personalized guidance. Through routine follow-ups, he will make healing as safe, comfortable, and easy as possible.

Contact Us to Learn How to Prep for Your Surgery

If you are curious about plastic surgery or would like to know more about what you can expect afterwards, contact our office today. We are always ready to answer your questions and help you make a confident decision about your cosmetic treatment.

I honestly never thought of myself as a serious candidate for elective surgery ... but I’m already feeling and looking so much better.* Jill's Story

Our state-of-the-art facility is equipped with the latest technology and amenities to ensure your comfort and privacy during your visit. We are located in the heart of Pittsburgh and serve patients from all over the world. When you are ready to take the next step, contact us to schedule your consultation with Dr. Davila or Dr. Hurwitz. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals of looking and feeling your best.

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