Hematoma After Non-Oncologic Breast Procedures: A Comprehensive Review of the Evidence

Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2021 Apr 16. doi: 10.1007/s00266-021-02276-6. Online ahead of print.


Background: Hematoma after non-oncologic breast surgery is a common concern requiring expeditious treatment. The purpose of this study is to perform an evidence-based review of perioperative factors that may contribute to hematoma in non-oncologic breast procedures.

Methods: A comprehensive literature review was performed of non-oncologic breast procedures: breast augmentation, single-stage augmentation-mastopexy, mastopexy, and reduction. In total, 28 studies highlighting incidence and potential risk factors for hematoma were included; overall level of evidence was established regarding each perioperative factor examined and hematoma rate.

Results: The hematoma rate in breast augmentation ranges from 0.2 to 5.7%. There is inconclusive evidence to support an association between pocket choice or incision location and hematoma rate (Level III) and no evidence of an association between implant type and hematoma (Level V). Single-stage augmentation-mastopexy may have a lower hematoma rate than augmentation alone (Level II). Hematoma may increase the risk of capsular contracture (Level III). In breast reduction, the hematoma rate ranges from 1.0 to 9.3%. Evidence of an association between incision choice and hematoma rate is inconclusive (Level III). Use of epinephrine-containing solution, pedicle choice, and resection weight do not appear to affect hematoma rate (Level V, II, and II, respectively). The use of postoperative drains and ketorolac do not affect the incidence of hematoma (Level I and III, respectively). Intraoperative hypotension may increase the risk of hematoma after breast reduction (Level III).

Conclusions: Breast hematomas are not uncommon complications. Current literature lacks ample evidence for risk factors for hematoma after non-oncologic breast procedures, warranting further, high-powered investigations.

Level of evidence iii: This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors www.springer.com/00266 .

Keywords: Augmentation-mastopexy; Breast augmentation; Breast reduction; Mastopexy hematoma; Outcomes.

Publication types

  • Review