Will a Seroma Go Away on It's Own?

I had a TT 2.5 weeks ago and suspect I may have a seroma - the wave is there when I tap on my belly. My surgeon dismissed the idea of it when I asked at my 1 week appointment. I am 4 hours away from my surgeon and am wondering if this will be absorbed by my body? I am going for physio/massage therapy to have the scar tissue worked on, is this something they may be familiar with or can treat? I obviously know my surgeon is best however, he dismissed it initially and is so far away. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 9

Draining after tummy tuck

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A series can occasionally complicate an otherwise perfect tummy tuck procedure.  Many surgeons will place drains at the time of the tummy tuck to try and prevent this.  That being said, even drains don't prevent all seromas.  If you have a seroma, my recommendation would be to have surgeon drain it.  Drainage combined with compression will resolve most seromas.  If that fails to resolve the problem, your surgeon may choose to either place a small drain in it or inject a medicine that causes the pocket to close up.

Your problem of distance raises another issue.  I have many patients that fly into see me and I understand that follow up can be difficult in this situation.  That being said, this is 2012 and we have lots of great ways to communicate including emails of pictures or videos, video chat, texting of pictures, etc..  If you are concerned and just can't make the drive to see your surgeon, I would contact his or her office and see if one of these communication methods can get you the answer you need.  All the best.

Will a Seroma Go Away on Its Own?

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   Eventually, a seroma will either be walled off or will be absorbed.  If the fluid collection affects the look of the tummy, this should be drained.

Seroma after tummy tuck

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It may go away but in  my opinion they should be drained. Your doctor can place a small drain in the office and leave it in if you live far away. you can have him take it out or a family doctor when it stops draining since it is held in place with only one or two sutures, Good Luck!

Gregory T. Lynam, MD
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Seroma after Tummy Tuck?

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Despite your experience with your plastic surgeon “dismissing” your concerns, I still think that he is in the best position to advise you. If there is a fluid accumulation present, although it may spontaneously reabsorb, it is best to have it drained. Otherwise, you run the risk of this becoming a chronic problem,  potentially requiring surgical intervention.

Contact your plastic surgeon, express your  concerns, and seek follow-up in the near future.  If, for some reason, this cannot be arranged you may need to seek consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon closer to you.

 Best wishes.

Post tummy tuck seroma usually requires treatment

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If there is a fluid wave then the amount of fluid could take a long time to re-absorb and could affect the long-tem result. I use progressive tension sutures which prevent most seromas and allow for the drain to come out earlier.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Seroma after tummy tuck

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Hello Mrs ReedJohnson, thanks for your question. It's not uncommon to have a small seroma after a tummy tuck. Sometimes they can resolve on their on and sometimes they need to be aspirated with a syringe. I strongly suggest you follow up with your plastic surgeon for this situation and do not let a non-plastic surgeon treat this. 

I hope that helps and wish you the best!

Can a seroma resorb on its own

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You have a good question. If you have a seroma which is large enough to cause a fluid wave, I do not think it will resorb on its own. I think it should be aspirated or drained. If you cannot get in to see you own doc, maybe he/she can get you to be seen by an interventional radiologist near you. Good luck.

Will a Seroma Go Away on It's Own

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Often these can resorb, but if they become chronic the problem is escalated to one that my require surgery rather than simple aspiration. Check with your local physician who might be willing to aspirated this or could at least make a local referral.

Thanks and best wishes. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon


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A small seroma should resolve without any treatment. They may need to be aspirated if they do not resolve

Norman Bakshandeh, MD, FACS
New York Plastic 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.