Seroma 18 Days Post TT and Lipo. Will it Resolve itself?

I had a tummy tuck with lipo 18days ago. I developed a seroma after my drains were removed aftr 1wk. I have been wearing my binder religiously. My PS have drained it 3 times since and is now saying she won't be draining it any longer as long as its not causing any problems. The seroma is clearly visible as i dont have much swelling and causes a water bed like wave if I push it to the side on my lower abdomen. Will this resolve itself and after how long? will this affect my final result?

Doctor Answers 5

Seroma after tummy tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Seromas need to be drained and observed. If the seroma is visible, I too would question why the surgeon will not drain it again and encourage you to dialogue on this..

Seromas after tummy tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Seromas can be managed in a number of ways. Small seromas that you can't see or feel can probably be left alone. Seromas that you can see should probably be treated until they are completely resolved. If serial aspirations aren't working than a drain could be placed, either under local in the office, or from an interventional radiology service.

Seroma 18 Days Post TT and Lipo.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Will all due respect, a visible seroma is a problem.

There are a few alternatives, and the earlier they are considered, the less likely that an operation will be needed for resolution.

  • Re-insertion of a drain, which can be done in the office with a little local anesthesia. This would be managed just like a typical immediate post-op drain, with removal done once the drainage reaches the desired threshold (30 cc for me).
  • Sclerotherapy: a number of agents can be injected into the seroma cavity to encourage the walls of the cavity to stick to one another and obliterate the space. These include betadine, tetracycline, absolute alcohol, mustard (not the hot dog kind). In my city, these are usually done by interventional radiologists, although sometimes betadine is tried first by the surgeon.

Thanks for the question, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Seroma after tummy tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

My philosophy is simple, a visible seroma is drained. It is a quick easy thing to do and prevents problems. Good Luck! Please see a board certified plastic surgeon.

It may require more attention

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Seroma should be drained by your surgeon. It does make you uncomfortable anyway and will not go away on its own unless it is very small. Unfortunately even though drains were removed, because there was no fluid at the time, some more drainage can occur with time for some patients.  It is quite unpredictable to see how your body will react during the recovery process from abdominoplasty and liposuction all together.  Once seroma is removed you should still follow up with your surgeon to make sure you are ok.  Seromas happens and it should not affect your final results as long as it has been  addressed and taken care of. If you leave it unattended it may result in chronic scarring/bulge

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.