After Water Jet Lipo and Smart Lipo, Side Getting Hard From Fluid, Seroma?

I had water jet lipo done at the beginning of June. Along with that he included smart lipo to help tighten the skin. During the procedure the right side stung and it hurt, kind of burned. He wanted me to go back after a week. There was some bruising, etc. Otherwise, I expected swelling. But, now after two or more series of draining with needles. Seems like the area on my right side is swelling up again and is getting harder from fluid. I worry because I am anemic. Broken vessel?

Doctor Answers 4


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This sounds like seroma that is having trouble healing.  Bleeding is not common this far out.  Have an evaluation by a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.

After Water Jet Lipo and Smart Lipo, Side Getting Hard From Fluid, Seroma?

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Recommend lymphatic massaging and external ultrasound therapy. I use this in most if not all my patients, seems to alleviate the swelling and seromas. 

Seroma after liposuction

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Seromas are collections of fluid that represent the straw-colored liquid portion of blood without the red blood cells present. They can occur with any type of liposuction and are not unique to using water-jet or laser liposuction.

Diagnosis and treatment for a seroma includes:

  • withdrawing the fluid to confirm what it is
  • sending fluid for a culture (rarely is there an infection, but be sure)
  • keeping the area compressed to prevent re-accumulation of fluid
  • may need repeated withdrawals before the body stops collecting it in that spot
  • a large seroma may resolve faster with a drain for a short time

It is normal for there to be a feeling of firmness due to inflammation. Continue to see your surgeon so he can monitor the progress and make sure there are no signs of infection, though infections with seromas are rare.

Seromas are generally more of a nuisance that a serious problem.

Kimberly Finder, MD
San Antonio Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

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Seromas will resolve

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Seromas are collections of clear to yellowish fluid that collects or pools after a surgery. They are uncommon after liposuction procedures, but can happen. They require drainage or aspiration using a needle just as you described.  They often do require multiple (3-5) sessions to remove the fluid as it accumulates.  They will eventually stop.  It is not unusual to have some firm or even hard areas develop around these seromas from the inflammation and healing.

You will want to make sure that you are not developing any signs of infection around the area (warmth, redness, pain, fevers)


Keep close contact with your surgeon until all symptoms resolve.

Edgar Franklin Fincher, MD, PhD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

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.