Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Symptoms of Seroma After Tummy Tuck

Seroma is a collection of fluid that builds up under the surface of your skin. A seroma sometimes develops after surgical procedures and is a common complication associated with a tummy tuck.  

In this guide, we review the aspects of Symptoms of seroma after tummy tuck, how to help a seroma reabsorb, How do you get rid of seroma naturally and How do you prevent seroma fluid?

After a tummy tuck, your surgical team typically puts drainage tubes in place for a few days or hours. Sometimes the tubes do not adequately drain the fluid built up under the skin, and a seroma may form. 

If you do end up with a seroma after a tummy tuck, do not panic. The condition is very treatable, and most patients make a full recovery. Below, we’ll go over how to treat a seroma after a tummy tuck. 

Seroma After Liposuction Treatment

How Do I Identify A Seroma? 

Seromas typically form within a few days of surgery, although a seroma may form up to a month after your tummy tuck. A seroma looks like a large lump or cyst and is sometimes described as a “balloon-like swelling.” You may feel liquid or movement underneath the skin. Sometimes, a seroma is tender to the touch, and some seromas calcify, resulting in a hard knot at the seroma site. 

A seroma may begin to drain on its own. You will notice clear, sometimes slightly bloody drainage coming from the incision. The seroma could become infected and develop into an abscess, spreading quickly and putting you risk for severe illness and sepsis. Signs of infection include fever or chills, blood pressure changes, confusion, and a rapid heart rate or rapid breathing.

While long-term or serious complications due to a seroma are rare, you should always seek immediate medical attention if a seroma forms. A medical professional can help assess whether you are at risk for infection and provide preventative care. 

Seroma Treatment 

Minor seromas may not require medical treatment. While you should see a doctor to be certain, they may recommend a watch and wait approach. Your body can sometimes naturally reabsorb the fluid within a few weeks or months. Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter painkillers to manage any discomfort during this time. As the seroma passes naturally, seek follow-up medical care if you notice signs of infection. 

Your doctor may need to drain the seroma via a large syringe for more severe cases. Your doctor will need to drain a seroma more than once in rare cases. However, this procedure increases your risk of infection and possibly an ensuing abscess. Therefore, doctors only opt to drain a seroma if the treatment site is free of infection and if the seroma causes pain, discomfort, or limited mobility. If you end up getting your seroma drained, follow all aftercare instructions very closely and seek immediate medical help if you notice symptoms like a high fever or shortness of breath. 

In very rare cases, a seroma may need to be removed surgically. Surgery is typically minor, but – as always – follow all of your doctor’s instructions closely before and after to avoid further complications. 

Seroma Prevention After A Tummy Tuck

You can never completely eliminate the risk of a seroma or any other complication from a tummy tuck. However, there are several steps you can take to reduce your likelihood of developing a seroma. 

Most importantly, work with a qualified plastic surgeon with experience performing tummy tucks. A good surgeon will take every precaution to ensure your safety before surgery by going over your medical history and doing a preliminary exam to ensure you’re healthy enough to undergo surgery. If a surgeon is rushing you through the consultation process, this is a red flag. 

Ask your doctor about compression garments after surgery, which can help reduce swelling and help your skin heal faster. While not every patient is a good candidate for compression garments, wear them exactly as directed if your doctor recommends them. 

It is important to know that, while seromas are not 100% preventable, they are very rare – especially when working with a qualified surgeon. The majority of seromas are mild and will likely reduce on their own. Although, you should always contact a doctor if a seroma forms. 

Seroma After A Tummy Tuck: The Bottom Line 

While a seroma may form within the weeks following a tummy tuck, the good news is that seromas are usually not serious. Complications like infection and an abscess are rare and can be prevented with prompt medical intervention. The best way to prevent a seroma is to work closely with a qualified surgeon and follow aftercare guidance.

Considering a tummy tuck? Leif Rogers, MD, is an Ivy League-educated, board-certified plastic surgeon. If you’re interested in a tummy tuck, get in touch with his team to schedule a consultation. 

Symptoms of seroma after tummy tuck

It’s crucial to be aware of potential issues after having a belly tuck, such as the emergence of a seroma. An accumulation of fluid under the skin at the surgical site is known as a seroma. Even though a seroma following a stomach tuck is very frequent, it’s crucial to be aware of the signs so that a doctor can quickly detect and treat it. Following are some typical signs of seroma formation:

Swelling: After a belly tuck, swelling is a common side effect. However, if the swelling increases significantly or lasts for a long time, it can be a sign of a seroma. Depending on the extent of the seroma, the swelling may be restricted to a small region or spread to a larger one.

Seroma: A seroma is simply an accumulation of fluid. A seroma may be present if you see a bulging or liquid-filled pocket under the skin in the region of the abdomen. The surgical site may become noticeably distorted as a result of this fluid buildup.

Pain: Seromas may be accompanied with pain, discomfort, or soreness in the afflicted region. Due to the fluid buildup, you might feel pressured or stuffed within. When pressure is given to the painful spot or when moving, the pain could get worse.

Seromas can result in fluid leaking through the incision site visibly. A seroma may be present if you see any clear or faintly yellowish fluid seeping from the surgical wound. It’s critical to pay attention to the consistency and color of the drainage, since other types (such as pus or blood) may suggest a different problem and need to be addressed right away to your surgeon.

Skin Texture or Appearance Changes: The presence of a seroma may result in skin texture or appearance changes. The skin that covers the seroma may look tight, glossy, or strained. Additionally, it could feel warmer to the touch than the skin around it.

An significant seroma may result in an increase in belly circumference or a protrusion in the treated region. When contrasting the size and form of your abdomen with the first surgery outcomes, this can be apparent.

Please get in touch with your surgeon or healthcare provider right away if you see any of these signs or symptoms, or if you have any worries regarding the formation of a seroma following your stomach tuck. To determine whether a seroma is present, they will be able to assess your symptoms, do a physical exam, and maybe request further testing like an ultrasound or fluid aspiration.

Seromas can be treated by draining the fluid with a needle and syringe or, in rare circumstances, by installing a drain to assist with fluid removal. It may be suggested to use binders or compression clothing to assist prevent fluid buildup and accelerate recovery. It’s important to adhere to your surgeon’s recommendations for postoperative care, including any particular steps to control or avoid seroma development.

Keep in mind that early identification and action can help prevent problems and guarantee a quick recovery following a tummy tuck. To obtain the proper medical attention, keep in frequent contact with your healthcare team and report any odd or alarming symptoms.

how to help a seroma reabsorb

Following a stomach tuck, if a seroma has been identified, there are various steps you may do to aid in the fluid’s reabsorption. While these recommendations may help, it’s crucial to remember that your surgeon may provide you with more specific advice and direction. Here are some broad tactics to help in seroma reabsorption:

Compression garments: As advised by your surgeon, wearing a compression garment or abdominal binder can assist provide modest pressure to the region, minimizing fluid buildup and encouraging reabsorption. Make sure the clothing fits properly and is worn in accordance with the directions supplied.

Gently massaging the region around the seroma can encourage lymphatic drainage and aid in the reabsorption of fluid if your surgeon gives the go-ahead. While massaging, apply gentle pressure and circular motions while being mindful not to irritate or disturb the area where the incision was made.

Exercise: As directed by your surgeon, mild exercise might assist to increase circulation and lymphatic drainage, which may facilitate the reabsorption process. Gentle stretching or walking are both good exercises. However, stay away from any demanding workouts or activities that place too much stress on the stomach region.

Elevation: When at all feasible, elevating the injured region can assist decrease swelling and promote natural fluid drainage. When lying down, lift your legs and keep your abdomen slightly raised by placing a pillow or cushion beneath your knees.

Alternating between heat and cold treatment can assist to promote blood flow and decrease inflammation. Take a warm bath or apply a warm compress to the region to increase blood flow. Alternately, placing a cold pack that is covered in a thin cloth for brief periods of time might assist in reducing swelling.

Nutrition and Hydration: Maintaining sufficient hydration and eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet helps boost the body’s healing process and encourage tissue reabsorption. Hydration is essential for maintaining good lymphatic performance.

Follow the advice of your surgeon: You must strictly follow your surgeon’s postoperative care recommendations. Attend regular follow-up appointments to keep tabs on the seroma’s development and confirm that the right course of action is being taken.

It’s critical to keep your surgeon informed of your progress, any changes in your symptoms, and any worries you may have. If conservative methods are unsuccessful, your surgeon may occasionally need to conduct a surgery to drain the seroma or offer further treatment choices.

Keep in mind that every person’s recovery is distinct, and seroma reabsorption might take a variety of times. A good recovery depends on your ability to be patient and to consistently follow your surgeon’s instructions.

How do you get rid of seroma naturally

Cosmetic surgeries are becoming more popular among people in the uk. Some decades ago cosmetic surgeries were only for those who needed medical help.   Since lockdown started back in March cosmetic surgery has increased significantly, as people have more time to recover when working from home.

Cosmetic surgeries are a good way to correct any part of your body that you aren’t happy with. The recovery sometimes isn’t as smooth as you expect, and you can develop seromas which is a secondary effect of the surgery.

What is a Seroma?

Seroma is a mass or lump caused by localized accumulation of clear fluid or serum within your tissue, organ or body cavity. It is a side effect of surgery or trauma. As a result, they can be developed because significant tracts of your lymphatic tissue have been removed, injured or occluded.

In a few words, a seroma is a fluid-filled pocket that may appear after surgery. It can be prevented and treated with Manual Lymphatic Drainage if you have your drainage done immediately after surgery.

What causes Seromas?

Seromas may appear after a surgical procedure. Most appear after an extensive procedure or when a lot of tissue is removed or disrupted. Some cosmetic surgeries such as tummy tuck are more prominent to developing seromas due to the nature of the procedure where the groin lymph nodes are damaged.   

Other common cosmetic surgery that result in seromas include:

How to prevent seromas?

Seromas are one of the most common problems that people visit our clinic or us call for advice for. Good news! They can be prevented and treated with the right procedure, after care and treatment. The sooner you look for professional advice the better.

Seromas can be prevented with an early intervention. Your surgical team will place drainage tubes in and around the incision to try to prevent it. The drainage tubes may remain in your body for a few hours or a few days after the surgery in order to prevent fluid build-up. However, in many cases fluid build-up appears a week to two weeks after the procedure, ones the drainage tubes have been removed. Additional to the drainage tube, MLD is recommended to help to drain the execs of fluid.

How can I treat Seroma naturally?

Most seromas can be reabsorbed into your body, sometimes it can take almost a month. However, in severe cases it can take a year and you may experience hardening once the seroma heals.

Manual lymphatic drainage is the most recommended treatment by surgeons to prevent and drain seromas without a medical intervention. Most importantly, you can start the MLD sessions right after your surgery. All the fluid inside the seroma will be drained manually and evacuated by your lymphatic system. Your therapist will use very light pressure, combined with soft pumping movements to drain the excess of fluid from the affected area towards the lymph nodes ( where the fluid will be absorbed and eliminated).

In addition, MLD will help you to relieve pain, reduce swelling, reduce scar tissue and speed up recovery

When do you need doctor intervention to treat your seroma?

Some seromas can form a capsule and remain in your body until they are removed surgically. If you start experiencing symptoms of an infection the seroma may have developed into an abscess and you need medical intervention, as it rarely disappears on its own.    

How do you prevent seroma fluid?

After breast cancer surgery, fluid may collect where tissue was removed. This swelling is called a seroma. It may resolve on its own over time, or it may need to be drained. Seromas may be uncomfortable and lengthen your recovery time, but they aren’t cancerous.

Possible causes and risk factors

Seromas are the most common complication of breast cancer surgery. Serous fluid, the clear portion of blood (serum), and lymphatic fluid may build up under the skin in the spaces where tumors, surrounding tissue and axillary lymph nodes were cut out. Seromas may also form in the abdominal region if tissue is taken from there for use in breast reconstruction.  

Why seromas develop isn’t clear. Suspected factors include:

  • According to research published in the Journal of Breast Cancer and Molecular and Clinical Oncology:
  • To a lesser extent, inadequate pain relief and use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy have been associated with seromas.
  • Heavier body weight and higher body mass index are probable risk factors, and perhaps high blood pressure (hypertension). But no confirmed association with seromas following breast cancer surgery has been found regarding:

Development and Symptoms

Seromas may form after either a lumpectomy or mastectomy, as well as following the removal of neighboring lymph nodes, breast reconstruction, and other types of surgery. They may take weeks or months to resolve.

It’s theorized your body responds to the trauma of surgery by releasing serous fluid that probably comes from the lymphatic system. Other health experts say the fluid in a seroma represents a mix of lymph and serum.

During surgery, doctors may place tubes in your wound to drain off excess fluid. Seromas often result after these drains have been taken out. Although your body generally tends to reabsorb this fluid, sometimes your doctor may need to drain it with a hypodermic needle or replace a drainage tube.

Symptoms that signal seroma drainage may need to be done include:

Alert your care team if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms.

Seroma Treatment

Small seromas often disappear over time, but long-lasting ones can be troublesome. If your seroma cannot be easily felt through the skin, its dimensions may be determined through ultrasound or a computed tomography (CT) scan.

The fluid in persistent or large seromas may be removed with a hypodermic needle (in a procedure called aspiration), but the fluid may recur. Repeated aspirations raise the risk of infection.

To resolve persistent seromas, your doctor may inject an irritant into the cavity that was formed by tissue removal. This procedure, called sclerotherapy, aims to promote healing by closing up the empty space. Recurrent seromas may require replacement of a drainage tube or, less commonly, surgical drainage.

Other seroma treatments are preventive, and may include:

Techniques used during a mastectomy and lymph node removal that reduce the empty or dead space formed by tissue loss are thought to help lower the risk of developing a seroma.

Steroids are sometimes used to reduce the inflammatory response to surgery that’s thought to lead to seromas. Research in the World Journal of Surgical Oncology notes that putting steroids into the surgical wound after breast reconstruction or the first day after a mastectomy with sentinel lymph node biopsy has been shown to cut the risk of seroma development, but a dose of steroids before mastectomy or after mastectomy with axillary lymph node removal didn’t seem to change the odds. The use of steroids may also raise the risk of bacterial infection of seromas.

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