What is seroma?

A seroma is fluid - accumulation of serum in a dead space in the tissue. Seromas may occur after surgeries, especially extensive one, where there is significant tissue disruption. Here belongs hernia repairs, breast augmentation, tummy tuck, liposuction, face lift, etc.

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Forming of seroma

Forming of seroma is a normal response of the body reacting on the presence of a dead space within the tissue which was before attached to something. Seroma is formed especially when there is large mass removed, or some defect creates. Because of that, small vessels (which were before running from the underlying tissue like muscle, connecting tissue to the overlying tissue like skin or muscle ) damage. Even these vessels do not generate considerable blood loss, they let serum leak out into the area. As well, tissue damage may happen despite the fact that cutting was done carefully. The body reaction is inflammatory as the result of damage of the tissue. Because of the cell death, increased vascular permeability, and inflammation, fluid is able to accumulate in the newly created area.

Even though seromas are harmless and will not have any impact on the final results, it is still better to avoid it by using of a surgical drain tubes with bulb suction devices. It helps to monitor the volume of fluid leakage. Seromas are usually formed right after surgery when drains are not used. Still, a seroma can occur after removal of drains one month after surgery.

How to treat seroma?

When it comes to the treatment of a seroma, it is usually left to heal by itself (as the body reabsorbs the fluid which fills the cavity). It is not a cause for medical alarm as the surgeons do expect it to occur after any surgical procedure where there is skin break involved. If the size gets bigger as usually, drainage will be performed to decrease the pressure on the skin. Or the surgeon may remove the serum by inserting a needle and draining a seroma into a syringe.

If seroma occurs, please do not hesitate and contact your surgeon for further advice or consultation.


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