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5 Months Post Tummy Tuck: Been Draining Seroma for 4 Months Now

There doesn't appear to be any fluid at this point, but the swelling is severe. It begins right above the incision and is in the exact area that the seroma was. My abdomen was flatter pre surgery. Is it normal that the swelling is still present? It seems to be getting worse each month. What can I do to make it go away?

Doctor Answers (8)

Unresolved seromas frequently require surgical revision.


If you have been draining a seroma for the last 4 months then you may actually require a surgical revision.  This is because you may have "encased" the fluid with a protective wall that is preventing your body from absorbing the fluid.  This protective wall may need to be removed.

Follow up with your physician and follow his/her recommendations.  You definitely need to make sure that they are aware of your concerns.

Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Swelling 4 Months after Tummy Tuck


KKNurse,  It is hard to know how much swelling you have without a photo. Swelling may persist in some cases for many months but should be getting better and not worse. Have you seen your surgeon recently? If not you should see them sooner rather than later. Good luck.

Douglas L. Gervais, MD
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Developing a seroma bursa


After a few months a seroma creates a life of its own and forms a bursa or capsule.  If this occurs there is no choice but to excised the bursa and replace the drain.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

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Chronic Seroma after Tummy Tuck?


Thank you for the question.

Although some swelling may be expected  four months after surgery it may be that you are experiencing  a chronic seroma.

If this is the case only good treatment option is to surgically drain the seroma,  excise the scar tissue around the seroma,  suture the abdominal wall flap back to the abdominal wall fascia (to promote adherence of the flap to the underlying fascia)  and use several drains.


I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
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Swelling from seroma after tummy tuck


Unfortunately persistent or undiagnosed seromas will ultimately result in the development of a seroma cavity. This is a thickening of the tissues that is best compared with a rind on an orange. It causes persistent swelling in the lower portion of the abdomen which naturally defeats the whole purpose of the tummy tuck in the first place. At this point in time it is doubtful that this will resolve and your surgeon should re-operate to excise the cavity which should give you a nice flattening of the lower abdomen. 

William F. DeLuca Jr, MD
Albany Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 105 reviews

Seroma after 4 months now swollen


you definitly should have exams over time with your surgeon to make sure the seroma has not reaccumulated. having said that you are 4 months "behind" on that side and the swelling may just be the result of repeated drainage or instrumentation.  if there is no seroma the lymphatic disruption will get better with time genrally. good luck.

Rafael C. Cabrera, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Tummy tuck

A persistent draining Seroma is an unusual complication. If this has continued this long the area may need to be surgically explored and the Seroma cavity removed

David L. Abramson, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
3.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Tummy tuck seroma


If you had a seroma that persisted for four months, I would expect you to have more swelling than normal, and for it to last longer.  Be sure to see your surgeon to check that there is definitely not any continued fluid accumulation.  As long as there isn't, you should expect it to take longer than usual for the swelling to subside.

Malik Kutty, MD
Sugar Land Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.