Is there anything I can do before or after to aid in preventing a seroma or opening wound from a TT?

I'm scheduled to have a TT on May 20th. I'm getting really nervous about it. I'm 45, a healthy weight, have a healthy lifestyle & confident with my surgeon, but some stories & photos on this site are scaring the heck out of me. It seems seroma's and opening wounds happen a lot. How can I prevent this from happening to me?

Doctor Answers 11

Is there anything it patient can do to reduce risk of seroma in anticipation of and abdominoplasty.

A seroma is basically a wound healing issue is are minor incisional openings. Don't smoke and show up to the operating room clean. Follow the postoperative instructions of your surgeon carefully.


Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

How to prevent wound healing problems or seroma after tummy tuck?

Don't smoke.  Don't be overly active during the first few weeks after surgery.  Eat healthy.  Follow postoperative instructions.  These are the things you can do.  The rest is in your surgeon's and nature's hands.

Todd C. Case, MD
Tucson Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Don’t smoke and diligently follow your postoperative instructions.

Thank you for this question. It’s wonderful that you understand that your plastic surgeon isn’t the only one who plays an important role and has an impact on your recovery and final results. Before a tummy tuck the importance of not smoking cannot be overstated. If you don’t smoke, wonderful. If you do, make sure you stop at least a month prior to surgery. Beyond that, the most important thing you can do to prevent seroma or any other complications is follow your doctor’s postoperative instructions to a T. This includes proper care and cleaning of your incision as well as strictly avoiding strenuous activity and getting plenty of rest.

Lee B. Daniel, MD
Eugene Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Is there anything I can do.................

a healthy lifestyle, no tobacco, very moderate alcohol intake, lots of fruit and vegetables, low saturated fat and so on will help put you in the best position to be fit for your surgery.

Patrick Briggs, FRCSI(Plast Surg)
Perth Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Minimizing seroma after a tummy tuck

Some of the things we do to minimize seroma formation after a tummy tuck is by placing a series of sutures on the inside of the flap to close the space between the flap and the abdominal wall.  Also leaving a very thin layer of fat (as opposed to removing all of it) helps keep the lymphatic channels intact.  Both of these have been shown in research studies to minimize the amount of time a drain needs to be placed as well as minimizing seroma formation after removing the drain.  I have seen this in my patients as well.  Tissue glue is another alternative, however, it is costly and comes from human blood products.

On the patient side, following the doctor's instructions after surgery such as not being excessively active and taking care of the drain so it is not accidentally pulled out will help minimize problems.  Most patients do well and do not have complications of open wounds or seroma.  A good surgeon cannot eliminate the risk but can help minimize it and take care of you well if it does happen.  Best of Luck. Dr. Michael Omidi.

An in-person exam with a board-certified plastic surgeon is the best way to assess your needs and provide true medical advice.

Michael M. Omidi, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

What can I do to prevent seroma and wound complications

Aside from avoiding strenuous activity in the immediate postoperative period and not smoking, there is nothing you need to do.  Follow the guidelines your surgeon has given you.  One of the "flip sides" to internet research are all the disasters you can read about.  Keep in mind that the vast majority of patients get through their surgery without the complications you mentioned.  Step away from the internet searches and take a deep breath!  Think positive thoughts, have faith in all the due diligence you have done, and trust in your surgeon's expertise.  Good luck!

Is there anything I can do before or after to aid in preventing a seroma or opening wound from a TT?

There isn't much you can do aside from listening to your surgeons instructions. I'd also suggest that you stop reading about disaster stories at this point since you have made your decision and you trust your surgeon. Its time to start thinking positive thoughts and get excited! Best of luck!

Mathew A. Plant, MD, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Tummy tuck complications

The best thing to do is discuss these concerns with your surgeon.  If you are going to a board-certified plastic surgeon that you trust, then you should speak to him/her!  Every individual is different and therefore the complication profile is also different depending on the individual and their lifestyle.  Follow your surgeon's advice and you'll do fine!

Elan B. Singer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Wound opening post TT

I would recommend you discuss your concerns with your surgeon. It is not a common occurrence in a healthy patient with a surgeon who performs these procedures regularly. Everyone gets nervous before a procedure, but discussing things with your surgeon should help.

Rick Rosen, MD
Norwalk Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Tummy tuck concerns

Thank you for your question. All surgeries carry risks, and seroma and wound healilng complications are two that are most often associated with tummy tucks. However, please know that these are still relatively uncommon occurrences in experienced hands. You have done your part in minimizing these risks by living a healthy lifestyle and choosing a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon, and your surgeon will likely employ his/her own risk reduction techniques (e.g. suture techniques, drains, compression, etc.) to give you the best possible chance for an optimal outcome without a hiccup. Follow your postoperative instructions and communicate with your surgeon any concerns. He/She should be able to put you at ease before your transformation.

Best of Luck,
DWB

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.