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Can I Drain a Seroma Myself?

I think I might have a seroma because there's a fluid pocket in one of the areas I had lipo on.  Do I have to go to the doctor, or can I just drain it myself (with a syringe)?

Doctor Answers (11)

Seroma after liposuction

+5

Obviously you should not drain a seroma by yourself, since it could become infected.

Drainage of a seroma requires sterile conditions. Occasionally, a drain needs to be placed, all judgments your board certified plastic surgeon is equipped to make with you.

The interesting question is why you have a seroma. They are usually exceedingly rare with liposuction alone.

Techniques such as Vaser, UAL or laser cause additional damage to the tissues and therefore a stronger inflammatory response from the body, and more fluid production, i.e. seroma.

Definitely see your doctor to address these issues and ensure a healthy recovery.


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 92 reviews

Don't drain your own seroma

+3

There are several good reasons you should not drain the seroma yourself. As physicians, it is generally advised that we don't treat ourselves and family. Or as the saying goes: A doctor who treats him/herself has a fool for a patient.

Most importantly, it may not be a seroma and this could result in other unforeseen complications which you are not prepared to manage. Seek you doctor's advice. If it requires drainage, they are best equipped to perform it and confirm the diagnosis. If perhaps after multiple sessions, this is established and requires ongoing drainage, you can bring this up with your treating physician. Hopefully, you will never get to that point.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

See your surgeon

+3

You need to be evaluated by your surgeon, and my guess is that he or she will be happy to do so.

Please see them, and don't stick needles into yourself.

Shahram Salemy, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

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Don't drain seroma yourself

+3

No Do not drain your seroma yourself. You can get the seroma infected, which will turn into an abscess. An abscess will require open drainage and will make the condition much worse.

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Please go to your doctor

+3

Your doctor will be there for you to address all issues after surgery.  I have personally never had to drain a seroma on a liposuction patient of mine, so I wouldn't recommend that you stick needles into yourself and risk getting an infection.  Please call your doctor and ask to be seen tomorrow!

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Plastic surgeon needs to drain seroma after liposuction.

+2

Hi.

You need to be examined right away. Seromas after liposuction are really rare, and you may have a different problem. In any case, don't do anything yourself.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

If You Think You May Have a Seroma Following Liposuction, Make Sure to Consult With a Plastic Surgeon; Do Not Drain On Your Own

+1

Although drainage of a seroma in the hands of an experienced plastic surgeon is a relatively simple procedure, it could be very dangerous in the hands of someone who doesn’t know what he’s doing.  The potential for injury to deeper anatomic structures is real and could potentially be life threatening.  It could also result in the development of severe infections if sterile technique is not followed.
For all these reasons, if your experiencing this type of problems it’s critical that you consult with your plastic surgeon.  This will ensure that the correct diagnosis is made and the proper treatment given.  This will ultimately result in the best possible treatment for this condition.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

Can I Drain a Seroma Myself?

+1

It is very unwise to stick yourself in an attempt to drain fluid following surgery.  First, you should contact and go see your surgeon to evaluate the area of swelling. Secondly, sometimes when people try to stick themselves they have a vasovagal reaction and pass out causing more problems.  Thirdly, you can cause an infection which will further complicate your recovery.

Thomas Guillot, MD
Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Seroma

+1

I would advise you NOT to drain the seroma, this can lead to infection. Contact your surgeon immediately to have this done. Best of luck to you.

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Treatment of Seroma?

+1

Thank you for the question.

Your seroma should be drained by your plastic surgeon to avoid further and/or worse complications.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 710 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.