The occurrence of seroma following plastic surgery is one of the most common concerns of men and women alike who visit us here at our San Francisco cosmetic surgery practice for initial consultations. While Dr. Mosser’s technical expertise and meticulous attention to surgical details will ensure that complications following surgery will be minimal or non-existent, the risk itself will always be there. Thus, it is best to understand how it happens, why it occurs, and what can be done on your end to avoid it in the first place.
Why a Seroma Occurs
By and large, a seroma refers to a collection of fluid beneath the skin after surgery, particularly when it comes to procedures involving larger incisions such as a tummy tuck or breast reduction. Although a seroma will resolve by itself within a few weeks following surgery, the discomfort associated with its formation may cause unnecessary anxiety (e.g. longer hospital stays) on the patient’s end.
A seroma is different from a hematoma as the latter has to do with pooling of blood (like a bruise) rather than the clear serous fluid.
Causes of Seroma
The occurrence of seroma is quite common and may be influenced by a combination of factors such as age, weight, and presence of certain medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.
When a large amount of tissue is removed from the body, large negative space is created which in turn is a likely receptacle for collections of fluid. Damaged blood vessels and lymphatic vessels around the incision site tend to leak fluids to this negative space to prevent infection. Thus, a seroma is formed.
Prevention and Treatment of Seroma
Although it is entirely impossible to prevent the formation of seroma such as in procedures involving large incisions, preventive measures may be taken to avoid them from happening such as elevating the operated area, getting enough rest, and adequate nutrition and hydration. Use of compression garments and drains may also help prevent seromas.
Seromas that do not resolve on their own can be manually removed through aspiration or drainage tubes.
Dr. Mosser and the rest of the team here at our practice are committed to utilizing the latest surgical techniques available to avoid complications post-surgery such as seroma formation. Call us at 415.398.7778 or fill out this contact form to schedule an appointment. We look forward to helping you improve your life through plastic surgery minus the post-surgery complications!