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Recommendation on Draining Seroma After Tummy Tuck?

Now 4 weeks post session, a seroma has developed (according to my dr.) I go weekly and she doesn't want to irrigate because of the risk of infection.

The first drainage removed 130cc of fluid from the lower section (under belly button to above pubic bone). The second aspiration removed 135cc from the lower section and 30 from the upper above belly button and below breasts.

Also, I have an appearance as though I have an elastic band belt around my mid-abdomen (belly button). The fluid keeps coming. Help! Advice?

Doctor Answers (3)

Seroma after abdominoplasty


Unfortunately, seroma after abdominoplasty is not uncommon. Most of the time, they can be treated with serial aspiration in the office. 135cc is really not a lot of fluid and I would anticipate that your problem will resolve with the present regimen, not requiring anything more agressive.

Rarely, seromas become refractory and can be injected with various agents (eg.tetracycline) to try to get the shallow wall of the seroma to stick to the deep wall, thus obliterating the space. Sometimes reoperatin is needed to excise the seroma if other therapy fails.

The odds are very much in your favor for a good resolution without more than serial aspiration.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Seromas are quite common after tummy tuck


Seromas are one of the most common complications after tummy tuck. In most cases, provided they don't become infected, they're nothing more than a nuisance. Your surgeon is performing serial aspiration of the fluid collection, which is a very accepted practice. I'll combine this treatment with an abdominal compression garment, which can help limit re-accumulation of fluid. Even with this, it may take several aspirations over many weeks before the fluid stops collecting.

Try not to make any conclusions about the appearance of your abdominal wall yet. Only 4 weeks after surgery, you still have a significant amount of swelling of the abdominal wall. In combination with a seroma, this will lead to a very distorted appearance. Once your seroma is gone, and a few more months have passed, your abdominal wall will undoubtedly start looking better! Best of luck!

Sam Jejurikar, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

I would recommend inserting one or two drains.



Seroma is the most common complication following a tummy tuck, and it is best treated aggressively.

We work with an interventional radiologist, and we would send you for ultrasound guided aspiration of the seromas and insertion of drains, which we would keep in at least 2 weeks.

Seromas can lead to permanent deformity, so they are potentially serious.

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

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