After under arm surgery I have some seroma left in arms. What should I do as it bothers me?

Doctor Answers 6

Arm lift seroma brachioplasty arm lift complications

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Hi Chalani, Thank you for your question regarding a seroma that developed after your arm lift.  After arm surgery like an arm lift, seromas are a rare complication.  However, arm seromas do occur.  I would suggest needle aspiration.  This procedure is performed in the office.  The skin around the seroma is anesthetized (made numb).  A needle is then inserted, and the fluid inside the seroma is drained.  Sometimes a sclerotic is injected into the seroma.  A sclerotic is a substance that reacts with the wall of the seroma and causes the seroma to shrink and collapse.  Most arm seromas disappear after 3 to 4 aspirations with a needle.  Stubborn arm seromas require surgical drainage.  This procedure can also be performed in the office.  The arm skin is anesthetized, and small 1inch incision is made.  A Penrose drain is placed. A Penrose drain is a passive drain, which means it is not on suction.  Suction drains may prolong a seroma.  Typically, after 7 to 10 days, the seroma “has burned out” and the drain can be removed. Good luck.  If you have any other questions in regards to an arm seroma or arm lifts in general, please contact my office. Sincerely, Dr. J. Timothy Katzen

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 254 reviews

After under arm surgery I have some seroma left in arms. What should I do as it bothers me?

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Most of the time, a seroma needs to be drained, unless it is very small.   This can be done in the office with a needle and a syringe.  You need to return to your plastic surgeon for followup and have the seroma drained.  Best wishes. 

Jeanette Padgett, MD, FACS
Oklahoma City Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Seromas after brachioplasty.

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In general, these should be addressed aggressively. We usually start with needle drainage of the areas but if a capsule is formed, then sometimes a small secondary surgery is required. You should see your plastic surgeon to consider which is the best option for you.

Ira H. Rex lll, MD
Fall River Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 51 reviews


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Hello, I would recommend going back to your PS as they should be able to examine the region and then aspirate your seroma if one is present. 

Seroma's Following Surgery

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Seromas can be aspirated about two weeks after surgery if there is recurrence of seroma a culture should be obtained and should be treated for two weeks with appropriate antibiotic. 

Regards, Dr. Balakhani

Mehdi Balakhani, MD, FACS
Newark Plastic Surgeon

See your plastic surgeon.

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I suggest you contact your plastic surgeon to evaluate your arms and determine the cause of your concerns. Seromas are best treated early so they don't keep coming back. Best, Dr. Aldo

Aldo Guerra, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 214 reviews

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