I Had 10cc's of Fluid Removed from my Lower Abdomen After Tummy Tuck--will This Likely Need Additional Treatment?

I am 20 days post op from a full tummy tuck w/ lipo on my stomach/flanks. While the initial swelling has gone down quite a bit, I noticed one small area that had that "water bed" effect. I went into my surgeon immediately, and she drained 10cc's of fluid. She told me to continue wearing my binder and to restrict activity as much as possible for the next week. Is it likely I'll need to have the area drained again or should it go away on its own? Is this amount of fluid significant?

Doctor Answers 5


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Seromas are more common with tummy tucks combined with liposuction than when either procedure is done alone.  However, 10 cc's is not a lot of fluid, and most seromas 'burn out" on their own.  More than likely it will improve.  Good luck.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Three Tips to Preventing or Resolving a Seroma After Tummy Tuck

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Seroma formation after tummy tuck is not unusual and are usually easily managed.

Here are some tips to help quickly prevent and eliminate accumulation/re-accumulation of fluid (serum).

  1. Limit activities: if you are moving about a bit too much too soon (before the woulnd surfaces have a chance to stick toether) fluid will weep into the space.
    • Physical activity can increase how much fluid (serum) is produced.
      • this is usually the main culprit in causing seroma: doing too much, too soon!
    • After tummy tuck, you'll especially want to avoid twisting motion and straining.
  2. Compression:
    • a well-fitting compression garment will reduce the space into which the fluid can develop
    • the right amount of pressure decreases swelling and prevents fluid weeping into the healing area
  3. Removing fluid pockets:
    • stay in close touch with your surgeon to determine if removal is indicated
    • removal is usually done with a syringe and needle to withdraw the fluid
      • oftentimes, the skin is still numb from surgery, making the procedure quite comfortable/tolerable

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Seroma resolution

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Serums sometimes require more than one drainage procedure but 10 cc is a small amount so your plastic surgeon will make a judgment call going forward based on your condition. Continue to followup and don't overdo.

Seroma after tummy tuck

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A seroma after a tummy tuck is not uncommon.  A 10cc seroma is pretty small.  I would have doubted that this would be visible on exam.  Frequently they do require repeated aspiration. Continue to follow up on a regular basis and I do not believe you will have any long term problems associated with this.

Thank you for your question.

Ralph R. Garramone, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Seroma after Tummy Tuck?

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Thank you for the question.

No, a 10 cc seroma is not likely to be significant in any way;  it should not detract from the end results of your surgery. There is a significant chance however that further aspiration will be necessary. Continue to follow-up with your plastic surgeon.

Best wishes.

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.