Sclerosing a Seroma Post Tummy Tuck with Lipo?

My doctor drained my fluid build up and then injected a liquid into the seroma and drained it back out im not sure what the liquid was but after two more drainings my seroma went away now the area where the seroma was is very hard and indented compared to the rest of my stomach i was wondering why this has happened and if it will go away

Doctor Answers 5

Abdominal Wall Hardness After Seroma Obliteration

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Seromas post abdominoplasty are a known complication.  The use of a sclerosing agent is sometimes necessary and this can lead to hard, indented areas on the skin above the sclerosed area. 


The drainage plus schlerosing agent allows the cavity to scar shut.  In my practice, I allow 8 to 10 days to elapse before I begin ultrasound (this is the same therapeutic ultrasound that the physical therapist uses to get rid of sore muscles).  Ultrasound converts sound waves into heat, which brings blood supply to the area, which allows the body to more rapidly absorb the extra scar tissue causing the dents.  It also decreases swelling and evens out the tissue on your abdominal wall. 


Ultrasound should be done 3 times per week for about 3 weeks.  This should cure about 90% of post sclerosing dents and divets.  In the unusual situation, a little extra ultrasound will cure the other 10%. 





Seroma post abdominoplasty

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Seroma is a difficult problem to resolve. The best way is to prevent it. When it occurs, one tries to sclerose it frequently with an antibiotic of the tetracycline family. This whole process is going to involve significant inflammation and scarring deep in the tissue and be manifested by hardness and skin irregularity. Fortunately, with a lot of time and patience most of it will resove itself, if not completely but I would say 80% so later if a touch up is needed it will be small and simple.

M. Vincent Makhlouf, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Sclerosing a seroma cavity

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It sounds like your surgeon injected a a sclerosing agent into the seroma cavity. This may causes some fibrosis as it seals. Give it time to settle down.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Scarring after tummy tuck seroma is difficult to correct.

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Hard to be specific without seeing you, but in general this is not the kind of thing that is easy to improve with a revision.  Time will help somewhat.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Sclerosing agents for abdominoplasty seromas

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It is likely that the fluid that was infiltrated into the seroma was doxycycline which is commonly used agent used to help in cases of recurrent or problematic seromas. I am sure that there other sclerosing agents, but none with which I am familiar. Regardless, the hard and indented areas are likely areas of scarring below the skin. Without an exam, it would be difficult to be certain, but the issues will likely improve significantly over time with aggressive massage of the hardened tissues. I would suspect that it will take 3-6 months for the tissues to soften and normalize. 

Wm. Todd Stoeckel, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 87 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.