Swelling After a Lipoma Removal

Hi, I had a lipoma from my back removed and there is a swelling now, which my doctor reduced a bit by syringing it out some blood. He couldnt take any more out and told me that its a Seroma. Its early days,but how many days/weeks should i expect before the swelling reduces properly? And can i take any over the counter drugs to reduce this swelling? I can go back if it doesnt go down and he can syringe out the blood again if necessary. Any advice will be warmly welcomed kind regards

Doctor Answers 4

Back Seroma Management

Back Seroma Management
What you describe is a seroma, or collection of serum in the empty raw space where the lipoma used to be. The back seems to have a propensity to develop these. 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).

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Swelling After Lipoma (Fatty Tissue Cyst) Removal

It is very common to have swelling after a lipoma removal, especially if it was a big one on the back.  Swelling can easily take several weeks to go down.  When removing large lipomas on the back I typically place a drain in for a few days to help remove that extra fluid that collects and to minimize swelling.  I do not recommend you take any medications to reduce the swelling, and especially avoid blood-thinners such as ibuprofen or aspirin.  Give it a good 3 weeks and if it is still not improved by then, I suggest you follow up with the physician again. 

Channing R. Barnett, MD
New York Dermatologist
4.1 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Swelling byVillar

Swelling normally peaks at three days and resolves by ten days.  A hematoma may significantly delay this.  If it persists and is fluctuant, it can be repeatedly drained.  Best wishes.  Knowledge is power.  Luis F. Villar MD FACS

Luis Villar, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 10 reviews


If a large lipoma is removed, it leaves a large empty space. That space can collect fluid, called a seroma or hematoma. A seroma is just a collection of lymph fluid, and a hematoma is a collection of blood. Either would be best to drain. Using compression over the area is the best way to manage this. If it continues to collect blood, then opening the incision and finding the vessel bleeding would be the best solution. Hope this helps.

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