How long should a seroma take to heal?

I have a seroma. One the first day 150 cc was drained. It has been drained a total of 4 times. On the 3rd time it was down to 10 cc. Today it was at 30 cc but it had been four days since it had been drained. Is this expected progress? What is the normal time frame for a seroma to heal? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 4

When to drain seromas after tummy tuck

There is variation in how long seromas take to resolve, but with 150 cc's yours will probably take longer than most. It may be worth putting a drain back in if the amount doesn't drop off soon. How long was your drain in after the tummy tuck?


Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Seroma healing period

Thank you for your question.Seroma clearance is variable between patients. It can be anywhere from 1-8 weeks. When you reach 10cc’s for two consecutive days, that is usually a good sign that you are at the endpoint. It is always best to consult with your surgeon about any questions or concerns you may have seeing as they know your medical history, anatomy and surgery best. 
Best of luck in your recovery!
Sincerely,

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Board Certified ENT
Board Certified Plastic Surgery
Member of ASPS, ASAPS, ISAPS, The Rhinoplasty Society, AAFPRS, OTO/HNS, ASLMS, International Federation for Adipose Therapeutics & Science

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

How long does a seroma last?

There is a risk of seroma with the majority of surgeries performed by plastic surgeons.  The reason seromas occur is because when tissue is lifted and moved, as in a tummy tuck, it creates a space.  The body puts fluid into that space until that space heals/scars in.  Drains are often used to drain that fluid until the body has healed that space or the body can absorb the amount of fluid being produced.  Despite using drains seromas can occur and have to be drained in the office.  The amount of fluid drained will hopefully decrease each time but to have the volume increase from time to time is ok as it can really vary depending on how fast your body heals.  So it sounds like you are progressing fine for having a seroma drained after abdominoplasty.  The more tissue that has to be removed or moved can increase the risk of seroma and take it longer to heal then someone who did not have as much tissue removed.  It is hoped it will heal by 4-6 weeks.  Occasionally different treatments may need to be performed if a seroma cavity will not heal with drainage alone.  Your plastic surgeon will be able to help guide you through this.

Tough question

Seromas, like yours that are decreasing in volume typically will heal in the next 2 - 4 weeks. You should not worry and continue doing what you are doing. Its a tough question because occasionally large seromas can become chronic and then they will not resolve without surgical removal. There is nothing to suggest that this is happening to you so dont worry. Hope that helpsAdam Goodwin

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.