When Should I Start Worrying About a Seroma That Has Formed Post-abdominoplasty? (photo)

I still have one drain (collecting less than 20ml per day for the past 3 days), but despite this and 24/7 compression, fluid is building up in my upper belly 18 days after my abdominoplasty. I am 100% sure this is a fluid pocket, not swelling. Since my surgeon is out of state, I email him photos/video. The PA acknowledges my issue and isn't concerned yet, but... I am! Is it reasonable to see a local interventional radiologist for evaluation now, or should I wait? I dont want a pseudobursa.

Doctor Answers 3

Seromas should be adequately drained after in abdominoplasty.

You should be concerned about your seroma until it quits accumulating. If left unchecked it can create a chronic problem that will require revisional surgery.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

When Should I Start Worrying About a Seroma

This is a tough call absent a physical exam. 

Usually one drain will drain the entire abdominal cavity. I can't make much out of the posted photo, which I assume is not current since there see to be two drains. I don't see anything obvious on the photos suggestive of fluid collection. 

I wouldn't hesitate in recommending the IR consultation. All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Possible evaluation of an abdominal bursa or fluid accumulation.

You may want to see a local Plastic Surgeon and have a proper examination at this time.  It ,ay be too early to evaluate, but if you truly believe that there is an expanding fluid collection and a local evaluation may confirm that, then a CT scan or MRI could be ordered that would confirm it.  If there was a collection, a needle aspiration by the Radiation Interventionalist may be indicated.


Good luck to you.


Frank Rieger M.D.  Tampa Plastic Surgeon

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