Seroma after breast lift with implants?

Do seromas after breast lift with implants resolve themselves? Or how is this resolved?

Doctor Answers 9

Seroma after breast surgery

If you have a seroma after breast surgery recently, this may settle with time if it a small seroma. However it may have to drained under ultrasound guidance if the seroma is large and this may have to done on a few occasions until the seroma settles. However, if you have a seroma following breast surgery in the distant past then this does need to be investigated for any underlying cause by your plastic surgeon.

Leeds Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews


It depends a little on when the seroma has occurred. I would consult with your PS for face to face advice. If you are postop and you have a seroma it would be useful to perform an USS to evaluate whether it is worth draining/sampling the fluid or not.  

Gary L. Ross, MBChB, FRCS
Manchester Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 168 reviews

Seroma after breast lift with implants?

It's a good question, and I would advise you to speak with your surgeon. Small seromas may resolve without treatment, but larger seromas may require drainage. Seromas that occur a long time after surgery (months-years) also need to be evaluated by your surgeon.

Austin Hayes, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Risks of Surgery and Healing Time

All surgical procedures carry some degree of risk Any breast operation can result in changes in sensation. This happens less with lifts than reductions but is still possible Occasionally, minor complications occur and do not affect the surgical outcome. Major complications associated with this procedure are rare. The suitability of the breast lift procedure and specific risks may be determined during your consultation. Healing will go on for 2-3 months for the early period.  There may be some swelling, bruising, malposition, color differences.   Sensation will be abnormal.  Scars will be changing. If my patients have concerns that something is unusual about their healing process, it is important for them to call the office and discuss these concerns or come in to be examined. So, if you find yourself with concerns or questions regarding your healing process it is a good idea to visit your surgeon to have the area evaluated for proper healing. Good luck!

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

Seroma post-op

Depends on how big the seroma is. Small seromas can resolve on their own while larger ones typically need to be drained, either with a needle aspiration, surgical drainage, or placement of a drain. Tx is highly variable based upon where seroma is, where implant is, how big fluid collection is, ect. See your PS routinely for f/u as instructed and they will take care of it, seromas are more common than we would like unfortunately.

Seroma and infection

A seroma may resolve on its own if it is small. If it is large, then it likely needs to be aspirated.  Best of luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Depends on the size of the seroma

Depends on the sizer of the seroma. A lift with an implant is controversial for two reasons.  First, when you perform a lift you are making everything tight and closing the wounds under tension.  It you add the expansive forces of the implant at the same time, you are fighting against yourself.  There are forces on the wound which try to make them separate, which results in wider, thicker, more irregular scars.  In the worst case, the wounds will open.  So compromises are usually made in the operating room by the surgeon because they cannot close the lift wounds over the appropriate sized implant.  Either less of a lift is performed so that the skin is not as tight and therefore there is less tension on the closure.  Or a smaller implant than would be appropriate is used so as to decrease the expansive forces.  Either way, you are compromising the aesthetic outcome.  Often the outcome is so compromised that a second revision surgery is required.  If however, you plan to have the lift first and then the augmentation after everything has healed, then you have two operation that are planned, both with much lower risk than the combined mastopexy/augmenation.  The outcomes of the two meticulously planned operations are much better and a more aesthetically pleasing, and a safer outcome is achieved. The second reason the combination of mastopexy and augmentation is controversial is because of the risk of nipple necrosis (death of the nipple).  By making the skin tight for the lift, you are putting external pressure on the veins that supply the nipple.  By putting an expansive force on the undersurface of the breast with an implant, you are putting pressure on the thin walled veins that supply the nipple.  If the pressure by squeezing the veins between the implant and the skin is greater than the venous pressure in the veins, the flow will stop.  If the venous outflow stops, the arterial inflow is stopped.  If the arterial inflow is stopped, there is no oxygen for the healing wounds and the tissue dies. Placing the implant on top of the muscle in combination with a lift puts the blood supply to the nipple at a much higher risk because in addition to the issue of pressure on the veins, you have to divide the blood vessels that are traveling from the pectoralis muscle directly into the breast (and to the nipple) in order to place the implant between the breast tissue and the muscle. This adds a third element of risk to an already risky operation.  Mastopexy/augmenation with sub glandular implant placement is by far the riskiest way to address your anatomic question.

Gary Lawton, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 136 reviews

Seromas after breast implants should be addressed

Fluid around a breast implant may resolve itself but may also last a long time and become a stimulus for infection. You should be seen by your plastic surgeon very soon so this does not be an issue for you. 

Matthew Schulman, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 326 reviews

Seroma after breast surgery

A large seroma is unlikely to resolve by itself, or it may take months. Your surgeon is best equipped to make the determination of draining the seroma or waiting.  Make sure you are seen promptly. Best wishes.

Francisco Canales, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 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.