How is blood that flows out of vessels during internal bleeding cleared from the area (by the body, not medical professionals) once the bleeding stops? I am assuming via the lymphatic system; but I've found surprisingly little information about this on the internet, maybe I used wrong search terms.

  • Welcome to MedicalSciences.SE. Just out of interest, what search terms did you use when looking for information online? Commented Aug 5, 2019 at 15:51
  • @ChrisRogers Mostly just the words in the title of this post (I wasn't really doing a thorough research)
    – Esoppant
    Commented Aug 7, 2019 at 20:31

1 Answer 1


After internal bleeding, the blood serum from the blood can be reabsorbed back into the circulation (capillaries), and the blood cells can be phagocytosed by macrophages. The blood serum from the abdominal cavity can be resorbed by the peritoneal blood vessels and from the pleural space by the pleural lymphatic vessels.

Some hematomas may not be reabsorbed and can form encapsulated cysts (in the brain) or adhesions (in the abdomen).

1) The Treatment of Muscle Hematomas (IntechOPen)

This source suggests that the serum from hematoma can be reabsorbed into the blood.

The diathermy is based on application of electromagnetic waves; those oscillations induce a transfer of kinetic energy which is readily converted into heat. This effect of heat production in the tissues is called ”Joule effect”...The rational application of various forms of diathermy is based on accelerating the rate of absorption of the residual hematoma, due to increased blood circulation induced by the temperature.

2) Imaging reveals signs of intracranial hemorrhage (Diagnostic imaging, 2005)

In the brain hematoma, macrophages phagocytize the red cells.

Macrophages and astroglial cells phagocytize the hematoma in the chronic stage. Extracellular methemoglobin is converted into hemosiderin and ferritin, which is stored within the macrophages. Intra-axial hematomas leave a cystic, fluid-filled, or collapsed brain defect.

3) Lymphatic versus nonlymphatic fluid absorption from the peritoneal cavity as related to the peritoneal ultrafiltration capacity and sieving properties (Blood Purification)

Concluding from this source, after abdominal bleeding the serum can be reabsorbed via peritoneum into the blood.

Support for the contention that nonlymphatic fluid absorption directly into the capillaries is the major mode of fluid transport from the peritoneal cavity to the blood is given by measurements of the peritoneal-to-blood clearance of tracer albumin (or other proteins).

4) Mechanisms of pleural liquid turnover in the normal state (UpToDate)

Concluding from this source, after pleural bleeding, the serum can be resorbed by the lymphatic vessels in the parietal pleura.

Available data indicate that pleural fluid is formed from the systemic vessels of the pleural membranes at an approximate rate of 0.6 mL/h and is absorbed at a similar rate by the parietal pleural lymphatic system.

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