Swelling After Large Lipoma Removal? Whats the Cause and Cure?

My husband had a lipoma removed from the back of his neck four days ago. Now the right side of his neck is swollen to the size of a golf ball. Need help on what to do since his doctor is closed.

Doctor Answers 4

Seroma management following Lipoma removal

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

What you describe is a seroma, or collection of serum in the empty raw space where the lipoma used to be. If there is a lot of bruising associated with it, it could also be a hematoma (blood clot under the skin).  . Fortunately is resolves but some are persistent and take a long time. Occasionally a new drain needs to be placed. An elastic vest is helpful, decreasing back movement associated with exercise, and in rare cases injection of tetracycline with a drain in place is required (see below reference).

Swelling four days after lipoma removal is likely a fluid collection

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

Swelling four days after lipoma removal is likely a fluid collection. This could either be blood or tissue fluid. If it's truly the size of a golf ball, this should be drained to speed the recovery process and prevent potential infection.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

What is causing the swelling after large lipoma removal?

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

 after a lipoma is removed, especially a large one, an empty space is left in the tissues.  the body tends to fill in this empty space with fluid called a seroma.  usually, seromas do not require specific treatment unless they get infected or are very tense.  a warm compress over the area may help the fluid to be reabsorbed or to spontaneously drain.  if there is warmth, redness or pus at the site, it may need drained and treated with antibiotics and wound packing but this would be determined by a doctor.  if there was bleeding in the space, then you may be feeling clotted blood, called a hematoma.   the doctor who did the removal should check the site or have someone lined up to see his/her patients while he/she is unavailable.    

Stacey Whitehead, MD
Council Bluffs General Surgeon

Swelling after lipoma

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
You more than likely have a seroma or a hematoma. Seroma being the more likely. The doctor can do a needle drainage. If it is bruised then it could be a hematoma which is treated differently. If it is red and tender it might be infected. This would need and I and d. Most likely it is a seroma which can be drained though.

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.