I am 4 weeks post op yesterday and have been having issues with fluid collection. Worried about long term issues.

Had drains removed at 1 week. 1 week later doctor aspirated ~25CCs. 4 days later aspirated ~15CCs. On my own I began adding washcloths on top of compression dressing to keep fluid out. A week later he said it was small amount, didn't want to aspirate & risk getting infected, body should absorb it. 1 week later more fluid despite still wearing compression garment/dressing & washcloths for extra pressure. Moved up next appt to tomorrow, but I'm worried since it's been weeks I will form a bursa.

Doctor Answers 2

Fluid Concern 1 Month Post Op

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A collection of fluid under the skin occurs occasionally during the postoperative period. Aspiration of the fluid with a needle is frequently helpful. Secondary surgery is rarely necessary.

Bruising and #swelling are normal and usually increase slightly after the removal of any tape or foam. The bruising will decrease over 3-4 weeks, but may last as long as 6 weeks. The majority of the swelling will be gone within the first 3-4 weeks. However, it may take 6-9 weeks to disappear completely.

Also, as you heal, the area may feel “lumpy” and irregular. This, too, decreases with time, and massaging these areas will help soften the scar tissue. The #compression garment helps reduce the swelling, and the longer it is worn, the more quickly you will #heal. It can also assist in the retraction of the skin.
If you have any concerns about #healing, its best to ask questions of your surgeon or their nursing staff.


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Thank you for your question. You are right to move your appointment up to be seen by your surgeon. Fluid collections are common after these procedures and aspiration is usually the best approach. It is true that the body will absorb a small amount of fluid on its own but that can only be determined by an examination. Keep in close contact with your surgeon until this is resolved and you should have no bad side effects and the ultimate result should not be affected. Best of luck.

Steven L. Robinson, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon

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.