Fluid Build-up After Tummy Tuck?
- Asked by Carolina Brown in honolulu, hi
- 4 years ago
I have fluid build-up above my belly button after having a Tummy Tuck 4 months ago. Will the fluid ever go away or will I have to be drained for the rest of my life?
Will the compression garments work? How long will it take for this fluid to go away? Also, I'm still very swollen, how long does it take for the swelling to go down?
Consult your surgeon
Postoperative fluid buildup after an abdominoplasty is fairly common. However, it is not common to persist after 4 months. You should consult with your surgeon to determine if a drain needs to be inserted and/or a surgical procedure should be considered to treat the chronic fluid collection.
You may be headed for more surgery
You need to be in close contact with your surgeon as this can ultimately require a surgery to removed the chronic seroma capsule. Other options include placement of a drain or sclerosing agents or very frequent aspiration.
Chronic seroma pocket can be treated
If you still have fluid aspirated from this area 4 months after your surgery, you are dealing with a chronic seroma pocket formation. This will require placement of a drain to drain the fluid and then place a sclerosing agent (an irritant) to cause internal scarring and obliteration of the fluid pocket. If this does not work, you will need a reoperation to peel out the serous pocket membrane and allow scarring with a drain in place.
You should see your treating surgeon. This could be a difficult problem and if not done the right way you can end up with skin irregularities in this area.
Fluid or edema
Fluid collections are either hematomas or seromas. Your surgeon should be following and treating you for this. This might require aspirations or a drain. However, what you might be describing is edema of the upper abdomen or epigastric region. Because the lymphatic drainage is normally against gravity toward the axilla, this region can experience difficult edema especially if liposuction has been perform. Compression garments may be helpful but your surgeon should help supervise their use as they could also make things worse if there are constriction areas. Massage and lymphatic drainage might be helpful. Occasionally permanent fullness remains. You'll need to be patient and diligent in your follow-up.
See your surgeon
Ask the doctor who is treating you. Our opinions will not help you -- you need to have continuous care until the seroma goes away. There is no magic pill or potion.
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.