Can the Aspiration of Seroma Done by a General Doctor?

I had TT out of country. My drain was removed on 9th day when it still had an out put of 50cc/24hrs. After a week, Now I can feel the waves of fluid. When i press on one side the fluid creates waves on the skin.I email my doctor and he said there are two ways to treat seroma one way is to leave it alone all seromas are eventually absorbed by the skin or do aspiration. should i do aspiration with a general doctor or is it important to have it done with a PS Thanks Elly

Doctor Answers 6

Medical tourism and seromas

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Your post is emblematic of the problems and issues which can arise when you have surgery abroad. You may well have a seroma but should be examined in person by a board certified plastic surgeon, not a GP. I do not recommend leaving the seroma alone based on an email with your overseas doctor. Frequently serial drainage is required and the fluid expressed should be cultured to rule out infection. Removing drains prematurely because the patient is flying home is another issue here.

Complications after out of country surgery.

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Anyone considering out of country surgery should be aware that managing complication which may be simple if your surgeon is local can be a logistical nightmare for the patient. 

In terms of who should aspirate this, I think that if your general physician is willing to do this consider yourself fortunate. Leaving it alone is not a good idea, and is more likely to result in a chronic problem for which only surgery will resolve.

I might add that most surgeon fees are comprehensive and include pre and post-op care. When health care consultants divide the professional fees they usually will say 70% is for the operation, 30% for the non-operative care, on average. That is on average, and since you are already having a complication, the amount of care you will need may be more than average. Don't be surprised if a plastic surgeon give you a quote for a third or more of his or her own fee for the type of surgery you had.

Best wishes, and thanks for the question.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Cosmetic Surgery Tourism. It not all a Paradise!

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A seroma needs to be aspirated otherwise it will create cavity that will persists and fill with the seroma.  It would be appropriate for a PS to aspirate the seroma.  If you find a GP that is comfortable managing this then that would be reasonable also. Travel outside the U.S. for surgery and then subsequent development of complications may make your treatment of such complications tricky.

Dr. ES


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Seromas are normal in Tummy tuck surgeries. Having it aspirated is a good solution unless you don’t want it done. If you’re leaving it alone our body will most likely absorb it but it’s not guaranteed. Sometimes if it’s left alone it can build up more scar tissue. A general Doctor, if willing should be able to aspirate.


Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Seromas after tummy tuck abroad

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Often a seroma will resolve, though to heal rapidly and comfortably a surgeon might aspirate the seroma. You can try your family doctor, however most will not be comfortable taking over situation. Another alternative is a trip to your area emergency room where you might be assigned to a surgeon covering if you have trouble finding care at home.

Seromas after tummy tuck

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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. If your general doctor is comfortable with it - fine. But I doubt he/she will want to.

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