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Haematoma is when blood collects outside of the normal blood vessels.  A haematoma will usually occur after a haemorrhage. 

Haematomas usually present as bruising – often dark and extensive – on the surface of the skin, although they can also develop internally.  They can feel hard when touched and are the body’s way of performing damage limitation when internal bleeding occurs; a haematoma keeps the abnormal collected blood contained, and in many cases it will dissolve over time.  However, in some instances it will need to be surgically removed, particularly if it shows signs of change such as growing or spreading. 

Haematomas can be triggered by various causes, including trauma such as falls or high impact on soft tissue (such as in car accidents.)  However, it can also occur as a post-operative complication to cosmetic surgery, so it is vital to inform your surgeon if you have ever experienced haematoma or abnormal internal bleeding before.