My Doctor Aspired Fluid but Nothing Came Out - What Now?

i got tummy tuck four months ago....but my stomach look really big after taking a needle to aspire fluid nothing came out my doctor told me to wear my garment again to see whats going on if it will come down or really scared it will stay that way....

Doctor Answers 12

Bump after Abdominplasty

Any lump or bump or fullness may be due to fluid (sermoa, hematoma, etc), swelling, retained fat, failure of diastasis repair, etc.  So, there are many issue which you may have.  If you had a sermoa or hematoma, fluid should have been aspirated.  However, sometimes the fluid is deep or hard to detect and an Ultrasound or CT scan is needed to identify it.  If this is the case, a radiologist can use the Ultrasound to direct the needle directly into the fluid to drain it.  If you only have swelling, then it should go down over time.  If you have retained fat, you have need some supplemental liposuction after all the swelling is resolved and the tissues have settled.  


Good Luck.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Fluid in the abdomen after a tummy tuck

You might have a seroma and it was just missed by the doctor.  Get an ultrasound to check and have the radiologist aspirate it under ultrasound guidance if there is fluid.  If there is no fluid you need to discuss the result with your doctor.

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


Why is your doctor sticking a needle into your abdomen?  DO you have a seroma or do you feel the belly is distended?  Only he can answer this.

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

Seroms after Tummy Tuck

Thank you for your post. Seromas can be painful and cause a cosmetic deformity, as well as sometimes leak. The whole point of drains is to keep a seroma from happening in the first place. If a drainless procedure was performed, and you had a seroma, or you had drains that were pulled and you subsequently had a seroma, then you should be drained, otherwise a capsule builds around the fluid making it permanent. If a capsule builds around the seroma (pseudo bursa or encapsulated seroma) then the only way to remove the seroma is to surgically open the areas and excise the capsule, and close over drains to prevent another seroma from happening. If the seroma is encapsulated and is tight and painful, then it can be confused with just swelling or fat. An ultrasound is useful in distinguishing these and identifying the extent of the seroma. If the seroma is not yet encapsulated, then it is usually loose and has a 'fluid wave' or water bed type feel. Occasionally, a seroma can also become infected, especially if a permanent braided suture was used. This will have a hot, red appearance, and will eventually open up. I have never seen an infection from sterile aspiration of fluid.
Best wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

"Big Stomach" after a tummy tuck

You may have a "big stomach" after a tummy tuck from 1) seroma, a fluid-collection, 2) bulging from abdominal content, or 3) residual upper abdominal fat.  You should have ultrasound to make you sure that your fullness is not secondary to seroma.  If it is, the fluid can be aspirated under ultrasound-guidance and you should wear a compression garment and limit activities afterwards. 

Sugene Kim, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Fullness after a tummy tuck

Many things may cause persistent fullness following a tummy tuck. Depending upon the specifics of the procedure this could be something as simple as swelling or a collection of fluid (seroma). Other causes which are less common include a loosening of the muscle repair (usually from a broken suture) or inadequate removal of fat/tissue. If aspiration does not remove any fluid but a seroma is still considered, an ultrasound may be performed to identify the fluid and even assist in aspirating it. If a large amount of liposuction was performed at the same time, it can take several weeks before the "fullness" dissipates.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Distention after tummy tuck.

Persistent distention after tummy tuck can be caused by quite a few things.

The most commmon is a seroma. Other causes include retained fat, hematoma, abscess, failure of diastasis (muscle) repair, hernia, etc. If your doctor has attempted an aspiration and nothing has come out, a diagnostic study such as an ultrasound or CT scan should shed some light to the problem. If there is a fluid collection, you can even get it aspirated or a drained placed during the diagnostic study.

Good luck.

Kenneth Bermudez, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

My doctor tried to aspirate fluid after tummy tuck- no luck

If you still have a protruberant abdomen 4 months after abdominoplasty, a number of things can be contributing to this look.  you may have a seroma, and I agree that you should get an ultrasound to determine if this is the cause.  If there is no fluid, you may have a fatty abdomen at the lower aspect, you may have laxity of your abdominal muscles, or you may have scar tissue.  You need to be evaluated by your Plastic Surgeon to discuss your options.

Amy T. Bandy, DO, FACS
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Doctor Tried to asapirate Fluid from Tummy but Nothing Came Out - What Now?

Regarding: "My Doctor Aspired Fluid but Nothing Came Out - What Now?
i got tummy tuck four months ago....but my stomach look really big after taking a needle to aspire fluid nothing came out my doctor told me to wear my garment again to see whats going on if it will come down or really scared it will stay that way

At four months after surgery, it would be unusual to have a fluid collection (seroma) but not impossible. Trying to remove it with syringe aspiration is not unreasonable. If that did not work and your surgeon still thinks you may have fluid, he can refer you to the hospital radiology dept for a ultrasound with, if needed, needle guided drainage of the fluid collection. Another possibility that may need to be considered is failure of the muscle repair. You need to discuss all these possibilities with your surgeon.

Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

My Doctor Aspired Fluid but Nothing Came Out - What Now?

Obtain a scan to see if there is a fluid/air level in the subcutaneous plane. Than aspiration under radiologic scan can be done. From MIAMI DR. Darryl j. Blinski

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 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.