1.5 X 1.0 Cm Seroma Just Below the Sternum. Does This Need to Be Drained?

After surgery, in the area just below my sternum, midline, I could hear sloshing in this area. I still had the drains in and after a few days I could no longer hear the fluid. I didn't even think to bring it up to my doctor because it had stopped. I am 4 weeks post op and I am an ultrasound tech. I noticed a sore spot there so I scanned it myself :) . There is a tiny pocket of fluid superior to the muscle layer that is 1.5 x 1.0 x .85 cm. Does this need draining or will it resolve?

Doctor Answers 4

To Drain or Not To Drain

Thank you for your question.  Unfortunately this is one of the downsides of testing.  Small seromas are common after surgery and resolveon their own. This far out, there is a chance it could encapsulate or resolve on its own.  Now that you know it is there, it is posing a quandry even though it is small. Fortunately, the risk of aspiration is low. I would discuss this matter with your surgeon. All the best.

Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Small seroma

No I do not think that the seroma needs to be drained. However, you should certainly discuss it with your surgeon, who may feel otherwise.

Ronald Schuster, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

1.5 X 1.0 Cm Seroma Just Below the Sternum. Does This Need to Be Drained?

It is extremely unlikely that a seroma of this size will need to be drained.  There is no way of knowing how many small seromas occur that are undetected and are absorbed spontaneously.

Paul Vitenas, Jr., MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

Small seroma after an abdominoplasty

Most likely a  seroma of this size will resolve spontaneously.  If it is palpable then it could be drained.  If you were not an ultrasound tech this would definitely never be found.  Small seromas are more than likely more common than we suspect and are clinically insignificant.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

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