6 Weeks Post-Op Tummy Tuck, When Can I Expect The Seroma To Disappear?

Five weeks post tummy tuck, my doc. aspirated 50 ml of serum. I feel I am still accumulating fluid in the same area. Apart from the seroma, I am doing great and have been going for daily one hour walks as tomorrow will make 6 weeks. When can I expect the seroma to disappear? I will be flying 10 weeks post surgery and will be going to another country for a total knee replacement. What should I do? Should I postpone the TKR?

Doctor Answers 9

Seroms after Tummy Tuck

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 47 reviews

Tummy Tuck and Seroma?

Thank you for the question.

Unfortunately,  if a seroma develops after tummy tuck surgery several aspirations may be necessary before it resolves.  Rarely, it is necessary to place a drain  to help resolve the seroma. Unfortunately,  no one can predict exactly when the seroma will resolve.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,486 reviews

Seroma and time to resolution


Since every body and every tummy tuck is different the exact time that your seroma will remain is hard to know with certainty.  We do know that the more frequently it is drained and the more the compression is worn the quicker it will resolve.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 162 reviews

Seroma after tummy tuck


Seroma after tummy tuck is rare in all but the largest cases. Aspiration or drain placement usually works. Occasionally they can be treated with an injection to encourage them to scar in. There is no one treatment that woks for all. Stay close to your surgeon.


Best Regards,


John Di Saia MD



John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

6 Weeks Post-Op Tummy Tuck, When Can I Expect The Seroma To Disappear?

Thanks for the question. SMALL post operative seromas can be treated via needle aspiration q week. I also recommend compression and ultrasound therapy. Plan on the trip but be aware anything can happen. Also have a Rx of antibiotics available. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Seroma after tummy tuck

Aspiration of any seroma fluid and pressure garment is the answer.  It is diffficult to determine an exact time for complete resolution since every case is unique.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Seroma After Tummy Tuck

Seromas occur in a small percentage of patients after a tummy tuck and almost all will resolve with needle aspiration, as you have had done, although most will require repeated aspiration. Have the seroma aspirated at least once a week, twice a week if it re-accumulates more quickly, and it should be gone in the next 6 weeks. Continuing the compression garment will help because you need the surfaces of the seroma pocket to heal together and compression helps.

Joseph Fata, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Seroma with tumy tuck

I agree with the last post, frequent aspiration takes care of it most of the time.  I would also continue to wear your compression garment and stay on a low salt diet.  Your doc may even consider a diuretic for one week.  Last, limit your activity as this can increase fluid production as well.  Good luck!

Tiffany McCormack, MD
Reno Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Persistant seroma

Persistent seromas can happen occasionally.  They are best handled with frequent aspiration, i.e. every few days, until they go away.  If that doesn't work a small catheter placed by needle in the office will usually work if left in for a week.  Beyond that some more sophisticated procedures may, rarely , be required.  I would not cancel the TKR at this point.

All the best,

Talmage J. Raine MD FACS

Talmage J. Raine, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 9 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.