6 weeks post-op for tummy tuck and I have fluid accumulation, doctor wants to go back in? (Photo)

I am 6 wks post op from a TT, mons lipo, and BL/BA after a 140 lbs weight loss. My JP drain was pulled at 5 weeks po at an avg of 35 mL each day. No sign of infection. Today at 6 wks, the dr was able to aspirate 30 mL of very bloody fluid in my lower abdomen. I am now also having pain in my groin due to the skin being tightened upward by my scar. If more fluid accumulates next week, he says he will need to "go back in"... why is this necessary and is there another option? What is the recovery?

Doctor Answers 5

Decision to Go Back In

Hello and thank you for your question. It is definitely something that can be of concern, and hopefully your doctor has taken the time to explain this by now and everything has worked out nicely. The decision to go back in when the seroma makes its way back to the body is completely up to your surgeon, and hopefully you are with a board certified professional. Just remember that you have the right to ask all the questions you can think of and bring all your concerns to the table. It looks like the answers before mine should have allowed enough info for you to see your surgeon. Best of luck to you!

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

Fluid accumulation

Thanks for your inquiry.  A seroma can be a challenging problem and my colleagues have explained why. Ask your surgeon of he/she plans to go to surgery to place a drain or do something more.  Unfortunately seromas are not uncommon after massive weight loss surgery contouring.  I wish you the best of luck.  

Vishnu Rumalla, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 201 reviews


I see that various of my colleagues  have explained very well how and why a seroma can occur. I just want to add that if you have any doubts it might be good to have a second opinion before going for this procedure. Best of luck

Derby Sang Caputo, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Tummy tuck - surgeon wants to -reoperate for fluid

Thank you for asking about your tummy tuck.
  • Yours is a complex post-operative decision.
  • Without knowing exactly what was done, and being able to examine you, one can't have an opinion.
  • It sounds as though have a hematoma (blood collection) that needs to be drained. 
  • If draining with a needle is not sufficient, surgery is likely..
  • Your surgeon has to be the one to discuss your treatment options and your recovery in these situations.
  • Assuming yours is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, your surgeon's decisions are likely to good.
  • If your surgeon is not a qualified plastic surgeon, I suggest you see one for a second opinion.
  • Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews


Thank you for your question.  What you are experiencing is a seroma or fluid accumulation under your skin.  Your body normally has a series of channels called lymph channels that are like your body's sewage/plumbing system that drains fluid.  During surgery, those channels are cut and take time to regenerate.  During the time that it takes to regenerate, fluid can accumulate, and that is why we use drains and/or quilting sutures to obliterate the space where fluid can accumulate.  Sometimes your body can create a "seroma cavity" that is a walled off area where fluid accumulates and doesn't have proper drainage.  This normally happens after several months if an area has a recurrent seroma that doesn't go away with repeated drainage.  If that happens, it may be necessary to go in and remove the lining of the seroma cavity and obliterate the space again so it heals down without fluid accumulating.  Sometimes seroma cavities can be injected with a sclerosing agent to get the area to scar to see if surgery can be avoided.  The recovery will generally be less than the initial surgery because less is being done.  Make sure your surgeon is a board certified plastic surgeon.  All the best, 

Keshav Magge, MD
Bethesda Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 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.