What causes a seroma on a tummy tuck?
Doctor Answers 7
What Causes a Seroma in a Tummy Tuck?
The goal is for the muscle layer to heal to the underside of the fat, but every time a patient bends, walks, lifts, etc., the two layers move against each other, preventing them from sticking together and healing. Fluid can continue to accumulate.
If the fluid isn't removed through a drain or a needle and syringe, the body recognizes it as a foreign substance and creates a scar around it. This is caused a "pseudocyst." In rare instances, surgery is required to remove the pseudocyst.
In my practice, I use the No-Drain Tummy Tuck technique (click on link below) in which the muscle layer is tacked to the fatty layer, making it difficult for a seroma to form.
Seroma post tummy
What causes a seroma on a tummy tuck
You might also like...
Seroma after a tummy tuck
Studies indicate seroma rates approximating 10-20%. However, many surgeons are able to achieve far lower rates - down to 1% or even zero.
In the event a seroma forms after the drains are removed, needle drainage(s) will often take care of the problem.
Seroma After Tummy Tuck
Nobody knows the one right way to treat a seroma once it happens, but I typically drain them once a week and I find that they tend to go away within a month or so. It is rare that they become a problem for very long.
Seroma After Tummy Tuck
We try to prevent seromas by completely collapsing the new "pocket" of space under the abdominal skin by using drains and compression garments, however sometimes a seroma still forms. We try to prevent them because they can be very uncomfortable, they can become infected, and they can stretch the tissues we just tightened during the tummy tuck.
Excessive movement, especially bending and twisting can keep the pocket under the abdominal skin from fully collapsing in order to heal. Delaying the complete collapse of the abdominal tissues can allow fluid to keep coming in. Sometimes the fluid pocket (seroma) needs to be drained with a needle and/or treated with medication. Sometimes surgery is needed to clean up the pocket and start over with healing.
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.