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Your Blood Pressure Before Checking in for Plastic Surgery
(press release from ASPS)
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. ** As
a holiday luxury, many people give themselves the gift of plastic surgery.
But before men opt for a holiday facelift, they should check their blood
pressure. According to a report published in December's Plastic and
Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American
Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), men are twice more likely than women to
develop hematoma, a type of blood clot, especially if they have higher blood
In the study, the incidence of hematoma in male patients significantly
dropped to 3.97 percent from 8.7 percent once all patients followed a strict
blood pressure control regimen.
"Blood vessels are like plumbing. If the pressure is too high in your water
pipes, they are going to start leaking. It is the same in people. After
surgery, if a person's blood pressure is too high, it will cause the little
vessels in that area to bleed," said Daniel Baker, MD, ASPS member and study
A hematoma is an abnormal, localized collection of clotted blood. One of the
most common complications following a facelift, hematomas are not life
threatening, easily corrected and rarely interfere with final results if
addressed by a plastic surgeon within 24 hours. If a hematoma occurs and is
addressed quickly, it does not impact healing time.
Men are more likely to suffer from hematomas than women after a facelift due
to skin differences. Men have thicker skin than women and more blood
vessels, which requires more blood flow. The hair follicles on men's faces
produce the fastest-growing hair on a man's body, also requiring a greater
To decrease the risk of hematoma, all patients should undergo a careful
preoperative evaluation by their plastic surgeon, as well as manage and
stabilize their blood pressure with the help of their primary care
physician. Patients can further help decrease the risk of hematoma by
discontinuing all medications that can cause bleeding, including aspirin,
St. John's wart, gingko and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs before
Facelifts are the fifth most popular cosmetic surgical procedure performed
on men. More than 10,200 men had a facelift in 2004, accounting for nine
percent of all facelifts, according to the ASPS.
"By controlling blood pressure before surgery, patients can significantly
lower their risk for blood clots," said Dr. Baker. "I strongly urge men and
women alike, who are considering plastic surgery, to make sure they have
their blood pressure under control before undergoing any type of invasive
For referrals to ASPS Member Surgeons certified by the American Board of
Plastic Surgery, call 888-4-PLASTIC (475-2784) or visit
www.plasticsurgery.org where you can also learn more about cosmetic
and reconstructive plastic surgery.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons is the largest organization of
board-certified plastic surgeons in the world. With more than 6,000 members,
the society is recognized as a leading authority and information source on
cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. ASPS comprises 94 percent of
all board-certified plastic surgeons in the United States. Founded in 1931,
the society represents physicians certified by The American Board of Plastic
Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
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