How to Distinguish Between a Seroma and Swelling? (photo)

I had a full TT with lipo on the flanks just shy of 7 weeks ago. I woke up a tad more swollen than normal and spent the day shopping wearing my CG. I noticed while driving over bumps there was a jiggle in my abs that I never noticed before. By 7pm, was pretty swollen and there was a jello effect on my abs. This AM, no jello or ripple effect. Its been hot and humid so is this just swelling or a seroma? How to tell the difference? Thanks!

Doctor Answers 2


A seroma is a fluid collection that can be appreciated by moving it or feeling waves transmitted through it as you tap. Best to see your plastic surgeon for an evaluation to verify a seroma and drain it should it be present. Best of luck!

Peoria Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

How to Distinguish Between a Seroma and Swelling?

Dear Helen,

thank you for your question and photo.  Its difficult for you to detect as you do not see this everyday, but a seroma will have a 'fluid wave' as in you tap one end and you see a 'wave' kind of a like a waterbed.  Swelling does not.  Your PS will be best to detect this.  If a seroma is present, it should be drained with a needle for best results.

Best Wishes,

Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

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