Pink-light brown fluid after surgery. Is this normal?

Today is my 9th day post surgery and yesterday I went to my surgeon to get my steri strips replaced. When I got home I took a nap and when I woke up I felt the inside of my arm wet and so was the right side of my body. When I checked. To see what it was, there was a pink/ light brown like fluid draining out of my armpit. I'm not sure what the insision looks like because the steri strips are still on so I can't check for infection. Does anyone know if this is normal or should I go to an urgenct care?

Doctor Answers 4

Discharge after surgery

Some leaking post surgery is normal. Watch for signs of infection, redness, fever or feeling general unwell.  It is always better to follow up with your PS for a physical follow up. They may do a swab to ensure there is no infection or Seroma.

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Discharge after surgery

In some cases a discharge is normal and it resolves quickly.  If you wound is still draining excessively and soaking through your clothes then you should discuss with your surgeon.  

Robert Drielsma, MBBS, BSc, FRACS
Sydney Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Arm lift fluid

Thank you for sharing. The fluid you found may be expected depending on your precise case and technique. See your PS who can evaluate your situation.  While urgent care may be appropriate for general medical issues, these issues are more specific to a plastic surgeon's domain. Best wishes!

David C. Yao, MD, FACS
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Arm lift concern

I think that it would be best to contact your surgeon and ask them if they would see you again. It is not uncommon to have some wound separation in the armpit area as this is the area of maximal tension. These areas often heal on their own, but management will best be discussed with you surgeon.

Joseph Michaels, MD
Bethesda Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 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.