Leaking fluid through scar after medial thigh lift and lipo post op 2 weeks? How long will it last?

My scar is leaking a brown/red fluid the nurses and doc aren't alarmed but now she's on holidays and it still hasn't stopped how long will this go on... I had no drain tubes

Doctor Answers 4

Medial thigh lift leg lift inner thigh lift plastic surgery after massive weight loss

Hi Jackie,
I always use a drain when performing a medial thigh lift. Usually, I use 2 drains on each leg. Typically, these drains stay in from 2 to 3 weeks. In addition, your legs are in a compression garment.
Without the luxury of a physical examination or clinical pictures, I will try to answer your question as best I can. From your description of the problem, it sounds like remaining coagulated blood is trying to come out through your incision. Since you did not have drains, this is quite a natural and normal process for the type of surgery you have had. In addition, some of the liposuction fluid is probably trying to leak through your medial thigh lift incisions. 
In terms of treatment, I would do several things. It is essential you keep in contact with your plastic surgeon. Since you have an open wound, I would suggest antibiotics. I would suggest a compression garment that goes from your ankles to your hips. This will minimize swelling and help your body to express any remaining fluid through the open medial thigh wounds. I would also encourage deep tissue massage. I would try to massage any fluid or coagulated blood through the open wound. If the wounds do not stop draining you may require insertion of a drain. In addition if the medial thigh wounds continue to drain and are not healing, you may require surgical irrigation of your medial thigh wounds in the operating room. This is why it is essential to follow up with your plastic surgeon.
It is impossible to predict how long thigh drainage will last. In some patients, it may be several days several months.
I hope this is helped. Good luck.

Leaking fluid

Hi Jackie in Oz.
Unusual not to have drain.
Even with drains however when they are removed you will sometimes have drainage thru the incision at different areas. Color seems normal. This can go on for weeks. Keep clean with soap and water.  Use small amount of antibiotic ointment and see your ps when back from holidays. 

Peter Fisher, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

The Management Draining Wounds

Thigh lift surgery usually always requires extensive soft tissue dissection. Whenever this situation arises, your body's normal response is to generate serous drainage. For this reason, the vast majority of plastic surgeons utilize drains at the time of thigh lift surgery. When drains aren't used, fluid tends to accumulate forming a seroma or drains through the skin incision.



When drainage occurs through the incision, it's important to perform frequent dressing changes and monitor for the development of infection. It's also important to continue the use of compressive support garments.



In some cases, the presence of prolonged drainage may indicate the presence of a seroma. It may be appropriate to obtain ultrasound and CT studies to confirm this diagnosis. When seromas are present, they should be serially aspirated. In some cases, CT guided drain placement may be necessary, as well. Failure to provide adequate drainage can result in secondary complications such as wound breakdown and infection.



For this reason, it's important to maintain close contact with your plastic surgeon. With appropriate care, your surgeon should be able to manage your incisional drainage.

Medial thigh lift drainage.

The thigh lift has certain increased risks associated with it. One of them is the collation of serous fluid, (seroma).  This may persist for a while, (weeks).   There are a few things that might help, (compression, non sheer forces, etc). Sometimes they have to be aspirated, or drained. Sometimes one has to go back to the O.R. It sounds like you are seeing your board certified plastic surgeon. Please keep seeing him/her and ask those questions you are concerned about.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 16 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.