Can I drain my seroma myself?

I had an extended tummy tuck with lipo of flanks 10 days ago. I got my drains removed after 7 days (I drained 25cc in the last 48hours before they were removed) is it OK for me to buy needles & syringes and drain the seroma myself? It is in my lower abdomen about 6inches across & 3 inches high, I know how to do it. My doctor is 3 hours away and I don't want to drive that far each day.

Doctor Answers 14

Can I drain my seroma myself?

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I cannot recommend any patient to drain their own seroma!
There is a real possibility of infection or even perforation of your internal organs if you do this yourself.
Please see you plastic surgeon even if he is a long drive away.

If not drained, the seroma could eventually start to drain itself through the wound...... this could open up your wound and cause an infection. 

Draining a seroma is a simple procedure when done in the appropriate setting with a surgeon or an experienced medical professional, and should be done as soon as possible in order to avoid serious complications like wound dehiscence and infection.

Best of luck,
Dr. Miguel Mota

Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 61 reviews


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Hello and thank you for reaching out. Do not try to drain your own seroma. There are many many things that could go wrong with self treatment. Please follow up with your surgeon to see if they can refer you to see someone that's closer located to where you are. I am going to repeat for you to not drain the seroma yourself. Best Wishes.


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No you should not drain a seroma yourself you will increase many associated risks. Please see your surgeon. 


Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 521 reviews


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You may have your surgeon place a drain or catheter to keep the seroma draining while you are at home.  Doing it yourself may lead to complications including infection or bleeding that will complicate the situation. 


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Even if you have a medical background, doing this for yourself is a bad idea.  I suggest you make the drive or find a plastic surgeon in your area that would be willing to see you.  If you see a new plastic surgeon, you can expect to pay a fee.  However, the fee is a small price to pay for your health and safety.

Joseph W. Aguiar, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon

Can I drain my seroma myself?

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Thank you for your question.  I can understand the inconvenience of the drive to see your surgeon, but for your own safety, and possibility of introducing an infection, it would be best to have your doctor treat your seroma.  

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Can I drain my seroma myself?

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NO! Self treating a very very BAD idea! Seek more local boarded PS to pre pay for drainage aspiration of TT post fled collections. Fees from $250.

Seroma post op

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I would advise against this because this has to be done sterile environment and sticking your abdomen with needles is a no no.See if you can find a plastic surgeon in town who would be willing to help out.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 69 reviews


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Hello and thank you for your question. I do not recommend this at all.  You could perforate your bowels or even worse.  You should definitely return to your surgeon.  I am certain he/she would agree.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Can I drain a seroma myself

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I would NOT recommend you trying to drain the seroma yourself.  Although a relatively simple office procedure, in untrained hands there are significant risks of potentially dangerous consequences.  Although I appreciate the fact that your doctor is a long drive away, it is extremely important that you be evaluated by him/her to (1) make the appropriate diagnosis, (2) intervene if appropriate, and (3) make recommendations for your recovery moving forward.  At the very least, start with a conversation with your surgeon over the phone, skype, etc. to come up with the most appropriate plan moving forward.   

Charles Galanis, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

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.