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How Often Should I Have my Seroma Aspirated? Every Few Days or on my Weekly Scheduled Appointment?

I had tummy tuck with lipo to flanks and inner thigh areas and breast augmentation. Seroma was aspirated on 2/18/13. I am noticing similar wave motion developing again. My next appointment is on Monday 2/25/13.

Doctor Answers (5)

Seroma aspiration--how much time between rechecks?


For a succinct answer, read Dr. DiFrancesco's excellent reply. I know that small seromas can be allowed to resorb on their own, but an expanding seroma (fluid wave implies larger volume) in an early post-op patient may actually disrupt healing and increase the risk of developing a pseudobursa requiring drain replacement, sclerodesis, and/or re-operation to remove the cavity lining so that this can heal down.

With this in mind, I try to see my patients every few days if they are local and note fluid recurring, so that decompression of the seroma cavity allows the periphery to heal down and gradually reduce the capacity for more fluid to accumulate. As the aspiration volumes decrease, we know we're doing the proper thing and healing continues until no more fluid remains.

For me, re-operation (including drain replacement or sclerodesis) is a MUCH bigger pain and cost (for me AND my patient) than repeat aspiration. But since your surgeon is the one that will have to deal with the outcome of your joint decisions about aspiration frequency, this is a discussion best had with your surgeon. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Seroma after Tummy Tuck


Thank you for your question. The frequency for seroma aspiration really depends on the amount of fluid aspirated, how quickly the fluid returns and the level of discomfort for the patient. Your concerns are valid and you should discuss this with your surgeon.

Lisa M. DiFrancesco, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Timing of Seroma Aspiration after Tummy Tuck


   I prefer to aspirate the fluid collection if they cause contour deformity right away.  Your plastic surgeon should be informed and make the decision.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

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How Often Should I Have my Seroma Aspirated?


This question should be directed to your surgeon, who knows you, knows what was done, and has followed your recovery. Call,and let your surgeon decide, based on some give and take over the phone whether you should be seen earlier than on Monday.


All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Seroma aspiration


Aspirating your seroma may increase the risk of infection.  If the seroma comes back quickly, it may be better to wait and see if the fluid resolves spontaneously.  Wearing compression garments is believed to help.  Please trust your surgeon and follow his advice on how to treat your problem.


Best of luck and thank you for your question.

Shim Ching, MD
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 10 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.