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Seroma 9 Months After Tummy Tuck?

My seroma has not gotten any smaller and my PS has never attempted to drain it. He's had me apply heat and wear compression, and I've been going in every 2 weeks for an RF treatment (he uses it to get heat to the seroma to try to break it up). If I still have it at 12 months he'll use a lipo machine to go in there and get it out. This treatment seems uncommon so I'm wondering what other PSs think. Also, my weight is 6lbs higher than norm since the procedure - wondering if that's the seroma.

Doctor Answers (5)

Chronic seromas

+2

are difficult to treat and resolve.  Most doctors attempt to sclerose the cavity if truly a classic seroma.  I am not familiar with what your doctor is attempting.  If you seroma has lasted this long, sometimes surgery is needed to remove the lining of the seroma and to freshen the wound edges to allow adherence of tissue.  Good luck.


Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Seroma 9 Months After Tummy Tuck #tummytuck

+2

If you indeed do have a seroma there are many treatments that an be done. The best treatment is to drain them in the office. If they return I commonly will then place a catheter into the cavity at the time of the recurrence. This will allow the compartment where the fluid collects to collapse and the scar to close. Once a few months go by and you continue to have a pocket of fluid that was not drained you will form what is called a pseudocapsule. Once this capsule has formed the only viable option is to excise the capsule and allow the new fresh layers to scar together. You could try to have a catheter placed even this far out and just see if the pocket will collapse.

Richard J. Brown, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Chronic seromas need to be drained

+2

After 9 months without spontaneous resolution of your seroma, it is extremely unlikely that any external treatments such as heat, compression, and RF treatment will make your seroma go away. You can have your surgeon try serial aspirations (needle drainage), but it probably will not work. The standard treatment at this point in time ( 9 months out) generally involves opening up the seroma pocket, removing the seroma capsule, and placing drain(s). Perhaps liposuction is a new modality that I have not heard about for the treatment of chronic seromas. However, this is something that I have not used in the past for the management of seromas. Thank you for your question. Best of luck.

Gregory Park, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

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Seroma 9 Months After Tummy Tuck?

+1

By this time, the seroma usually has a thick wall and needs open surgery to excise the cavity and get it behind you. 

A simpler thing that might work is sclerosis. The cavity needs to be aspirated dry, usually with drain insertion and then a sclerosing agent (Betadine, tetracycline, alcohol) is injected, allowed to dwell, and then the drain opened. Sometimes several treatments will work if the first does not. 

All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Chronic seroma is are best treated by surgical excision.

+1

A seroma persisting for nine months by definition is chronic. In this situation a capsules formed around the fluid and can be several millimeters in thickness. The best choice is to remove this capsule and obliterate the dead space.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta 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.