What is the consensus on exercising when one has a seroma?

What is the consensus on exercising when one has a seroma? I recently read a study published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing that post-op exercise initiated after mastectomy does not factor into seroma formation, but I've seen conflicting viewpoints from other doctors on this board who strongly advise against exercising with a seroma. My seroma is very small (4cc) after gynecomastia surgery (gland removal).

Doctor Answers 2


4 cc's is a very small amount. You should discuss the care with your surgeon, he is the one most familiar with your care.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Exercising When One Has a Seroma

BRUISING AND SWELLING: Bruising and swelling are normal and usually increase slightly after the removal of any tape or foam. The bruising will decrease over 3-4 weeks, but may last as long as 6 weeks. The majority of the swelling will be gone within the first 3-4 weeks. However, it may take 6-9 weeks to disappear completely. The compression garment helps reduce the swelling, and the longer it is worn, the more quickly you will heal.

NUMBNESS: It is normal to experience numbness around the areola and chest. As your body heals, you may notice random bursts of pain in your chest. This is usually a sign that the numbness is subsiding.

LUMPINESS: As you heal, the area may feel “lumpy” and irregular. This, too, decreases with time, and massaging these areas will help soften the scar tissue.

ACTIVITIES: If your work keeps you sedentary, you may return whenever you feel up to it. If your work is strenuous, wait until your work activity does not cause pain. Wait at least 4 weeks to begin aerobic exercise.

As with all operations, pain and discomfort varies greatly from patient to patient. Generally, one should expect that pain medication will be required for the first several days. Continuing discomfort can last varying amounts of time.

Now, if it has been determined that you have a seroma and that issue is being treated by your surgeon it would be best to consult with him before entering into any heavy exercise schedules to make sure that nothing with outweigh your healing process.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 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.