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How to Get Rid of Seroma After Tummy Tuck?

I had a Tummy Tuck done 4 weeks ago. I feel that I still have accumulated liquid in my lower abdomen. How do I get it out?

Doctor Answers (5)

Seroms after Tummy Tuck

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Thank you for your post. Seromas can be painful and cause a cosmetic deformity, as well as sometimes leak. The whole point of drains is to keep a seroma from happening in the first place. If a drainless procedure was performed, and you had a seroma, or you had drains that were pulled and you subsequently had a seroma, then you should be drained, otherwise a capsule builds around the fluid making it permanent. If a capsule builds around the seroma (pseudo bursa or encapsulated seroma) then the only way to remove the seroma is to surgically open the areas and excise the capsule, and close over drains to prevent another seroma from happening. If the seroma is encapsulated and is tight and painful, then it can be confused with just swelling or fat. An ultrasound is useful in distinguishing these and identifying the extent of the seroma. If the seroma is not yet encapsulated, then it is usually loose and has a 'fluid wave' or water bed type feel. Occasionally, a seroma can also become infected, especially if a permanent braided suture was used. This will have a hot, red appearance, and will eventually open up. I have never seen an infection from sterile aspiration of fluid.
Best wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD


Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

How Do I Get Rid Of A Seroma In My Lower Abdomen 4 Weeks Post Op?

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A seroma is a collection of injury fluid seen in many parts of the body after almost any surgery. Unfortunately, it is quite common in the lower abdomen after a tummy tuck. Usually, this is due to inadequate lymphatic drainage.

Seromas after a tummy tuck fall into 3 major categories. The first and most benign is a seroma, when drained by your surgeon, never reoccurs. The second type of seroma recurs multiple times after drainage, and may require installation of a sclerosing agent. The third type of seroma is a chronic situation requiring re-exploration of the abdomen and removal of the seroma capsule.

I recommend you call your plastic surgeon as soon as possible because the longer the seroma remains undrained, the greater chance you have of forming a pocket which needs surgical excision.

S. Larry Schlesinger, MD, FACS
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Fluid accumulation after Tummy Tuck

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Have your plastic surgeon aspirate the collected fluid to avoid any other complications. This can easily be done in the office using a needle and syringe. It is normal to develop some fluid build-up after this type of invasive surgery.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 791 reviews

Seroma after tummy tuck

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Return to see your plastic surgeon. The fluid can easily be aspirated in the offfice.  However, if you continue to delay the body can wall off the fluid and it will be difficult to remove.

Jack Gelman, MD
Frankfort Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Seroma

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You need to return to your plastic surgeon.  If there is a significant amount of fluid it will have to aspirated.  This may have to be done more than once so you should be ready to return several times.  If the fluid just keeps accumulating, a drain may have to be put in.

Edmond A. Zingaro, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 4 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.