Seroma issues after abdominoplasty with lipo, I'm getting frustrated with the situation.

My surgery was 4 weeks ago. I've had a drain re-inserted once (and taken out after a week). I can now feel more fluid building up, but no fluid came out when my surgeon tried to drain it yesterday. It's very uncomfortable and I'm getting more nervous about the healing process. I've been keeping calm and haven't had any activity besides cooking etc. I've basically been on the couch for 4 weeks now. The fluid seems to accumulate a couple of days after drain is taken out.

Doctor Answers 9

Seroma after tummy tuck

Seromas after tummy-tuck can be troublesome for both patient and surgeon. It is best to continue to follow up with your surgeon regularly so that it can be treated.

New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Seroma issues after TT/Lipo

Your story is very common and frustrating to both the patient and surgeon. I would agree with the others that 4 weeks sounds long to you but not necessarily to us. It may be helpful to get an ultrasound to document the presence of any fluid and to possibly aspirate the fluid if present. The seromas almost always resolve without surgical intervention but it may take a few months. Sometimes it is necessary to go in and remove a chronic seroma cavity lining so the two sides can adhere to one another and obliterate the space in between. Time will be your friend and I know it's hard to be patient but that is exactly what is needed at this point. Good luck!!

Gregory Baum, MD
Syracuse Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 49 reviews


Hang in there! I know four weeks seems like an eternity since surgery, but your tissues are still healing. Seromas are incredibly annoying, but the good news is, they almost always get less and less with time. I would be encouraged by the fact that your surgeon was unable to drain any fluid in the office. This means that it indeed has gotten smaller, as large seromas are quite easy to aspirate. Keep wearing your binder, keep in close contact with your surgeon, and this should resolve. Chronic seromas are very uncommon, as is the need for surgical reoperation. So, hang in there!
Best of luck!
Dr. Subbio
Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
Newtown Square/Philadelphia, PA

Christian Subbio, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Seroma issues after abdominoplasty with lipo, I'm getting frustrated with the situation.

Thank you for your question and I am sorry to hear of your frustration after surgery.  Seromas are not uncommon side effects after a tummy tuck and can be distressing to patients.  They often do require additional time and interventions to finally heal, and it appears that your surgeon is managing these issues appropriately.  I would continue close follow-up with your surgeon to ensure that no other issues arise, and I know it is difficult, but hang in there and allow yourself more time to fully heal.  

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Seroma following tummy tuck

hello there

Thanks for your enquiry

Unfortunately serum is a not uncommon problem following tummy tuck surgery but usually the drains are sufficient to allow things to settle. In the weeks and months following surgery there is a balancing act between you body producing fluid and your body absorbing it. 

Usually this will just settle with time although in the early stages repeat aspirations are required.

Keep talking to your surgeon. For sure they will want this to settle on your behalf too.

Good luck!

Paul Banwell, MBBS, FRCS
London Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Ongoing Seroma issues

You gave to give it time and be patient. Seromas do not resolve quickly. If the situation continues, surgical intervention may be required.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Seroma after tummy tuck

Seromas are not uncommon after tummy tucks. It's important to be certain that what you have is a seroma, and then act on it if one remains after those previous needle punctures. An ultrasound test (painless) can clearly identify a seroma if one is present and may allow accurate needle placement for draining it. At some point, if the seroma keeps coming back, your surgeon may have to reoperate to clean out the pocket and reinsert drains.  Make certain that your activity level falls within the guides given to you by your plastic surgeon. It is possible to overdo it and stimulate the development of a seroma. Fortunately most seromas will resolve with conservative care.

Tad Grenga, MD, FACS
Suffolk Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Seroma problems

I'm sorry to hear that you're having problems with your recovery.  In situations like this, I think it's important to maintain close follow up with your surgeon and to have frequent communication regarding your changes.  With time, your body will heal.  Wishing you a speedy recovery...

Zachary Farris, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews


I am so sorry to hear about your seroma issues. It sounds as if you are already doing what I would advise which is staying in close contact with your surgeon so that your situation can be assessed in person. Continue to take it easy. Your body will heal. It simply takes time. 
My best,
Dr. Sheila Nazarian
@drsheilanazarian on Instagram

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 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.