How Do You Know if is an Hematoma or Seroma?

I just recently have a tummy tuck and liposuction, after my doctor remove the drainage I was still collecting seroma and my doctor extracted with a syringe. a two weeks after my last extraction I feel like a hard ball on the top part of my abdomen close to my ribs cage. is the a hematoma or seroma? will massage help to minimize and how long would it last?

Doctor Answers 8

Seroma and hematoma after tummy tuck

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If the 'hard ball' is where you had the seroma, you probably have more seroma fluid.

My experience is that seroma fluid needs to be removed at least five times before it stops forming. 

A hematoma tends to be bruised and painful. Seromas usually don't hurt. 

Or it may be scar from the seroma.

I suggest you see your surgeon because your treatment will depend exactly what is going on. I wouldn't just rely on massage -  a seroma or hematoma is likely to need more treatment than that. Best wishes 

Hematoma or Seroma after Tummy Tuck

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Odds are you have formed another seroma. Since Plastic Surgery should never be a do-it-yourself affair I would styrongly advise you to see your Plastic surgeon now and have him manage it for you. Once a seroma forms it works well for doctor and patient to see each other weekly, if not sooner, and remove the fluid rather than allow it to accumulate and risk forming a chronic seroma or worse.

Good Luck.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon


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It is difficult to say what that hard lump is at the top of your abdomen. It could be fluid, it could also be fat necrosis, it could be the plication that you are feeling. It would be best to get examined.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Hematoma or seroma after tummy tuck

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Hematoma is a collection of blood from active bleeding and can be rapid and quite tender. A seroma is a slow acumulation of fluid which will feel heavy, most often in the lower abdomen. As you were under care for a seroma, it is likely to be one rather than bleeding. Your surgeon will help you sort things out.

Best of luck,

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Tummy Tuck and Fluid Accumulation?

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Thank you for the question.

Given your history of seroma,  it is likely that the current  “hardball”  is another seroma.  it is not uncommon for multiple aspirations to be necessary before the seroma  resolves.

Your plastic surgeon will be able to make the diagnosis based on physical examination and/or aspiration.

Best wishes.

Seroma or hematoma?

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This is probably a localized seroma that will need to be aspirated again.  You should let your surgeon evaluate it.  Massage will not be of any help. 

Hematoma or Seroma after Tummy Tuck

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Most likely this is a seroma but either way, let your surgeon know so that it can be drained. Massage will not help.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Hematoma or seroma

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It sounds like a seroma given your history, however, it is hard to say without seeing it.  I would have your surgeon take a look and maybe try to aspirate.  It could also be scar tissue. 

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