What exactly is 'the cavity’ that occurs around a serum which hasn’t been resolved with draining?

A seroma post tummy tuck scar revision that is the width of the abdomen and from belly button to pubic area?

Doctor Answers 5

Seroma Cavity

The cavity around a seroma is basically scar tissue. With drainage of the seroma it may resolve or additional surgery may be needed to remove it if the scar tissue affects the outcome. It can occur after a TT or scar revision of a previous TT. Best to discuss further with your surgeon.

Seroma from Drain

I do not use drains any more with this procedure and have switched from pain pumps to Exparel which is a long acting injectable pain medicine like Lidocaine or Marcaine but lasts for three days. If you go to a doctor who uses #drains, they usually stay in 3-5 days but may be required to remain in longer. Also, revision surgery is unusual but may be desired for several reasons. Most revisions should be done after 9-12 months.  One cause for revision surgery are “dog ears” at the ends of the incisions. These are small folds of excess skin that do not flatten over time.  They can be excised, suctioned or both. If you are having these issues with the area of your drain then it would likely be best to visit with your surgeon to have the area evaluated to make sure there are no infections or trouble. Best of luck.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

The cavity?

Unfortunately, seroma formation is an associated risk of most body contouring operations. Some seromas are very stubborn and do not respond to conservative treatments with repeated drainage and antibiotic sclerosis. These require surgical excision of the cavity. This cavity is made of inflammatory cells which attempt to wall off the fluid. Good luck on your seroma surgery and wish you the very best! Dr. ALDO

Aldo Guerra, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 185 reviews


The body can typically reabsorb a small amount of fluid, but if larger amounts continue to be formed it overwhelms the body's ability to do this and it gathers between the muscles and the fat under the skin like a water balloon. If this is not dealt with adequately in a timely fashion a lining may form on the walls of the cavity prevented any fluid from being reabsorbed. This typically requires surgery to correct and is not considered a "simple straightforward" surgery. Best to nip it in the bud.

Robert H. Hunsaker, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 69 reviews


Think of your stomach as two pieces of bread. The top is the skin and fat and the bottom is the muscle/abdominal wall. The two pieces need to stick together after surgery. When fluid forms, it prevents this from happening. Over time a lining of scar tissue (capsule) can form creating a permanent space. Most of the time seromas do go away with time, but occasionally they need to be addressed surgically.

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.