Can I Drain a Seroma Myself?

I think I might have a seroma because there's a fluid pocket in one of the areas I had lipo on.  Do I have to go to the doctor, or can I just drain it myself (with a syringe)?

Doctor Answers 12

Don't drain your own seroma

There are several good reasons you should not drain the seroma yourself. As physicians, it is generally advised that we don't treat ourselves and family. Or as the saying goes: A doctor who treats him/herself has a fool for a patient.

Most importantly, it may not be a seroma and this could result in other unforeseen complications which you are not prepared to manage. Seek you doctor's advice. If it requires drainage, they are best equipped to perform it and confirm the diagnosis. If perhaps after multiple sessions, this is established and requires ongoing drainage, you can bring this up with your treating physician. Hopefully, you will never get to that point.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Seroma after liposuction

Obviously you should not drain a seroma by yourself, since it could become infected.

Drainage of a seroma requires sterile conditions. Occasionally, a drain needs to be placed, all judgments your board certified plastic surgeon is equipped to make with you.

The interesting question is why you have a seroma. They are usually exceedingly rare with liposuction alone.

Techniques such as Vaser, UAL or laser cause additional damage to the tissues and therefore a stronger inflammatory response from the body, and more fluid production, i.e. seroma.

Definitely see your doctor to address these issues and ensure a healthy recovery.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

See your surgeon

You need to be evaluated by your surgeon, and my guess is that he or she will be happy to do so.

Please see them, and don't stick needles into yourself.

Shahram Salemy, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 149 reviews

Don't drain seroma yourself

No Do not drain your seroma yourself. You can get the seroma infected, which will turn into an abscess. An abscess will require open drainage and will make the condition much worse.

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Please go to your doctor

Your doctor will be there for you to address all issues after surgery.  I have personally never had to drain a seroma on a liposuction patient of mine, so I wouldn't recommend that you stick needles into yourself and risk getting an infection.  Please call your doctor and ask to be seen tomorrow!

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Can I Drain a Seroma Myself?

It is very unwise to stick yourself in an attempt to drain fluid following surgery.  First, you should contact and go see your surgeon to evaluate the area of swelling. Secondly, sometimes when people try to stick themselves they have a vasovagal reaction and pass out causing more problems.  Thirdly, you can cause an infection which will further complicate your recovery.

Thomas Guillot, MD
Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Your surgeon should drain the seroma

You should see your surgeon not only to have the seroma drained, but to also assess your condition to find out why you've developed a seroma and to make sure you're okay.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

If You Think You May Have a Seroma Following Liposuction, Make Sure to Consult With a Plastic Surgeon; Do Not Drain On Your Own

Although drainage of a seroma in the hands of an experienced plastic surgeon is a relatively simple procedure, it could be very dangerous in the hands of someone who doesn’t know what he’s doing.  The potential for injury to deeper anatomic structures is real and could potentially be life threatening.  It could also result in the development of severe infections if sterile technique is not followed.
For all these reasons, if your experiencing this type of problems it’s critical that you consult with your plastic surgeon.  This will ensure that the correct diagnosis is made and the proper treatment given.  This will ultimately result in the best possible treatment for this condition.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews


I would advise you NOT to drain the seroma, this can lead to infection. Contact your surgeon immediately to have this done. Best of luck to you.

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Treatment of Seroma?

Thank you for the question.

Your seroma should be drained by your plastic surgeon to avoid further and/or worse complications.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 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.