What is the General Consensus on What Constitues a "Small" Vs. "Large" Seroma??

How many cc's is considered small (and thereby able to be absorbed by the body)? How many cc's is considered large and thought to not be able to be absorbed? How long does seroma fluid usually take to resolve or absorb? If a capsule (bursa) develops around the seroma, can the capsule be absorbed? If not, is it imperative that it be excised? If it can be absorbed, how long can that take?? Will it always be aesthetically unappealing?? Thank you!

Doctor Answers 3


{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
There is no general consensus to differentiate a "small" vs. a "large" seroma.   Management of seroma can usually be treated with percutaneous (needle) drainage and compression therapy.  Depending on the anatomic area where a seroma manifests and the type of surgery and persistence of a seroma despite needle drainage, a drain may need to be placed.   Hope this helps. Dr. Basu Houston, TX

Seroma and treatment

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

Usually if a seroma develops, it can be treated by aspiration periodically. They usually burn out on their own, but if they do not they can develop a pseudobursa which then requires excision.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Size and Treatment of Seroma?

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

Thank you for the question.

There is no “general consensus” when it comes to size or treatment of seroma.  The management of a specific patient's  fluid accumulation  should be individualized and may vary from one plastic surgeon to another. Therefore, it is not possible give you precise advice without knowing your full history and/or after consultation with you in person.

Generally speaking, if a capsule develops around a seroma (chronic seroma),  there is a good chance that it will not be resorbed (regardless of its size)  if the capsule is not excised.

I hope this helps.

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.