Do I Have a Blood Clot After Plastic Surgery?
Blood Clots After Plastic Surgery
As with all surgeries, there are potential risks associated with getting plastic surgery. One of these risks is the formation of blood clots (also known as a DVT, or Deep Vein Thrombosis), which can have serious consequences if left untreated, and they can be quite serious – even deadly. In this article, we will discuss the risks of blood clots after plastic surgery, how to prevent them, how to identify them, and what to do if you suspect you have a blood clot.
Risks of Blood Clots After Plastic Surgery
After undergoing plastic surgery, patients are at an increased risk of developing blood clots, particularly in the legs. Blood clots can form when blood flow is restricted or slowed down, causing the blood to pool and clot. If a blood clot travels to the lungs, it can cause a pulmonary embolism, which can be life-threatening. DVT’s (clots) that move (emboli) can also cause stroke, heart attack, and organ damage.
How to Prevent Blood Clots After Plastic Surgery
There are several steps patients can take to reduce their risk of developing blood clots after plastic surgery. First, patients should avoid smoking and limit alcohol consumption, as both of these factors can increase the risk of blood clots. Patients should also stay active and engage in very light exercise, such as walking, as soon as possible after surgery, as this can improve blood flow and prevent clots from forming.
Patients may also be advised to wear compression stockings or take blood thinners to reduce their risk of developing blood clots. This is especially true if a person has traveled out of state or country to get surgery. Additionally, patients should follow their surgeon’s instructions for post-operative care, including avoiding prolonged periods of sitting or standing and keeping the surgical site clean and dry. This last part can be very challenging when traveling home, so this is why doctors often give blood thinners as a preventative measure.
How to Identify if You Have a Blood Clot after Plastic Surgery
It is essential to be aware of the signs and symptoms of a blood clot, as prompt medical attention can be lifesaving. Some of the most common symptoms of a blood clot include:
- Swelling, pain, or tenderness in the affected area, such as the leg or arm (they most commonly form in the legs)
Leg swelling is not unusual post-op, but if one leg is much bigger than the other, then this is a warning sign.
- Redness or warmth in the affected area
- Difficulty breathing or chest pain
- Rapid heartbeat or lightheadedness
- Coughing up blood
What to Do if You Think You Have a Blood Clot after Plastic Surgery
If you experience any of the above symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately. Do not wait for the symptoms to go away, as they can quickly worsen and become life-threatening. Your doctor may perform a physical exam, blood tests, and imaging studies to diagnose a blood clot.
If a blood clot is diagnosed, your doctor may prescribe medication to thin your blood and prevent further clots from forming. You may also be advised to wear compression stockings or use a compression pump to improve blood flow. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the clot.
If you think you have a blood clot, do not make an appointment with me for a consultation. Go to urgent care or the emergency room. This condition can only be diagnosed with an ultrasound in person. It is critical that you get in-person attention for this concern as soon as possible. Once you are cleared and everything is good, please feel free to reach out to me for consultation on reducing swelling. I can definitely help you with that.