Seroma on Ankle After Tumescent Liposuction?

I had Tumescent Liposuction (3 ops in total from December 08 to April 09) for a condition called Lipoedema and the results are great, however it is nearly 3 months since my lower limb op (end of Feb) and I still have a pocket of swelling at my ankle.

It is a small spongy ball and although I'm having weekly MLD massages and compression garments on each day there is still a spot of swelling. Is this likely to be a seroma or is it likely to be fat? And if seroma, can it resolve without draining?

Doctor Answers 5

Tumescent Lipo

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The legs/ankles heal very slowly, and you already had an edema issue so this is not surprising.  Anticipate at least 8-10 weeks for swelling to go down.  Try to elevate the ankle at night time and this should assist in swelling reduction.

Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Fluid collection after liposuction

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You may have a seroma (fluid collection) in the area. Your surgeon can diagnose this by simply placing a needle into it and draining the fluid. If the fluid persists, a drain or sclerosing medication can be used.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Seroma on ankle after tumescent liposuction

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Patients who receive liposuction of the lower extremities can expect a significantly longer recovery process than other parts of the body. The lower extremities tend to swell more and tend to lose this swelling slower than other parts of the body. If the fluid is not absorbed by your body, it may travel down your extremity by gravity. If the fluid is collecting around your ankle a seroma is possible. At this time, you should consult your surgeon as they may want to drain this fluid with a small syringe and that they should recommend wrapping the area with a compressive stocking or bandage. This will prevent the fluid from reaccumulating.

Ankle liposuction is not routine

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Ankle liposuction is not a routine operation. The complication rate is higher than in other areas of the body. Make sure you stay close to your doctor for follow-up visits to get this sorted out.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon

Doesn't sound like a seroma or fat

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It is more likely to be a pocket of lymphedema rather than a seroma of fat. This is likely taking more time to resolve due to your underlying condition in which the lymphatic system is compromised.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 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.