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How are seromas treated ?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 336 Questions
I am 19 days post op from a tummy tuck with lipo and mastoplexy. I had my surgery in Mexico and I stayed there for 1 week. Drains came out at 12 days. Now I am pretty sure I have a Seroma. My stomach feels tight..stretched and when I press on certain parts of it a wave of fluid wiggles under my stomach. I am not in a great deal of pain and I am taking antibiotics already. Since I had my surgery out of the country, should I go to an emergency room for this? Wait? I can't imagine a local plastic surgeon would see me. What do you suggest?
Posted Fri, 4 May 2012 in Abdominal Pain
Answered by Dr. Deepak Anvekar 1 hour later

Seromas are collection of serous fluid, that leaks out of blood and lymphatic vessels usually after severe blunt trauma and extensive surgeries involving significant tissue disruption.

These include hernia repairs, significant plastic surgeries such as breast augmentation or reconstruction, abdominoplasties (tummy tucks), and surgeries performed for breast cancer.

Though a drain was placed to prevent such an occurrence, seromas can occur even after the drain has been removed.

Usually seromas present with, swelling near the surgical site with leakage of clear fluid through the incision. Pain is not a major finding in such cases.

If infection develops, additional symptoms can include leakage of pus, redness, warmth or swelling, tenderness, or fever and chills.

In your case, if you are having leakage of fluid from the incision site and you do feel a swelling around it, then you most probably have a seroma.

This needs to be seen by a doctor at the earliest so that it can be treated earlier and prevent complications like infection.

If the seroma is large, your doctor will remove the fluid via ultrasound guided needle aspiration. In case of infection, treatment with antibiotics might be required.

Small seromas often resolve on their own, although left untreated, they can calcify, forming hard knots.

There is no need that you need to see a cosmetic surgeon for the same. Even your regular doctor can treat this issue. In case additional help is needed he might refer you to a general surgeon.

I hope this helps to answer your questions. In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.

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