How Do You Know Whether Fluid is Building Up when Implant is Removed?

Without removing the capsule? Thanks.

Doctor Answers 10

Enlargement, sloshing, and palpable fluid--see your PS for follow-up!

It’s not unusual for patients to develop seromas following capsulectomy procedures.This can also occur when implants are removed without capsulectomy. Seromas typically present with enlargement of the breast.This may be accompanied by the sensation of sloshing and a palpable fluid wave on physical examination.

This problem needs to be treated as soon as possible to avoid additional complications.Failure to address this problem can result in the formation of chronic seromas, infection, drainage, wound breakdown, and a less than optimal aesthetic result.

When this situation arises, treatment usually consists of serial sequential aspirations and the use of compression garments.At this point, the breast is still numb and can be easily aspirated.This usually addresses the problem but occasionally more aggressive treatment is necessary.In some cases, replacement of the drain utilizing ultrasonic guidance may become necessary.

It’s safe to say the vast majority of seromas are successfully treated with conservative management.For this reason, it’s important that you continue to see your plastic surgeon on a frequent basis.

Fluid build up

You'll most likely see a bulid up of fluid and you may actually see a "wave" of fluid if there a lot.  Have your plastic surgeon evaluate you if you're concerned.

Fluid build up after implant removal

If your breasts are enlarging and you can see or feel a fluid wave or feel that things are "sloshing" around, you likely have a seroma which is a collection of serum which is like blood but without the blood cells.  This is most often seen when the implant capsule was left behind.  Repeated aspirations or a drain for a while may eventually lead to resolution of the seroma.  Sometimes, however, surgery needs to be done to remove the capsule.  I try to remove implant capsules at the time of explantation to avoid this problem. 

Lisa Lynn Sowder, M.D.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Fluid Build Up After Breast Implant Removal

The easiest way to know whether there is a fluid collection after implant removal is if your breast(s) are getting larger in size. Also, you may feel fluid moving around when pushing against the breasts. If still not sure whether there is fluid, then an ultrasound would be able to diagnose it. Also, there is a higher chance of having a seroma if the capsules are not removed. My recommendation is for you to see your surgeon.

Hope that helps and good luck!

Dr. Babak Dadvand

Babak Dadvand, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Fluid build-up after implant removal

How do you know if you have a seroma?  Well, if the implants are removed and there is a lot of fluid, you may feel a fluid shift or you may notice tthe breast enlarging.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Fluid Buildup after Implant Removal

Seroma formation or fluid buildup can certainly occur after this procedure especially even if drains were used initially.  You might notice a fluid wave and a gradual increase in size.  A simple ultrasound, and aspiration with a needle  will confirm this.  The fluid may or may not need to be removed.  I would definitely followup with your surgeon for further evaluation.  

Stephen Delia, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Aspiration of Observation of seroma after breast implant removal

There are several ways to check for a fluid buid-up: examination, aspiration, ultrasound evaluation, etc. More importantly the question is what are you going to do with it. Some surgeons favor aspiration while others prefer observation. In general I do the latter.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

How to tell if you have a buildup of fluid in your breast

You might notice a fluid wave in the breast, or you might just notice increased swelling.  If you had a drain placed, but it's been removed, and now you see more swelling, that could indicate a seroma (fluid buildup).  The easiest way to know for sure? Go see your surgeon!

Carmen Kavali, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Explantation Breast Implant

Was the capsule removed? if not then the chances of fluid accumolation in the pocket is high.

You will notice gradual increase in the size of the breast.

Mammogram, sonogram will surely make the diagnosis

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Fluid Build up after Breast Implant Removal?

After breast implant removal,  fluid accumulation can be diagnosed if a  breast increases in size and/or  a “fluid wave” is seen or palpated.

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.