How to prevent and treat Seromas after surgery

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:

  • Liposuction or body contouring
  • BBL or Buttocks lifts
  • Breast enlargement
  • Mastectomy
  • Abdominoplasty

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.    

Consult your doctor immediately if:

  • You are presenting fever  
  • There is an increase of fluid build -up in the area
  • The seroma doesn’t get better.
  • You feel pain.
  • It puts excessive pressure on the area of surgery or injury, the skin, or an organ.
  • You notice symptoms of infection like redness, warmth, or tenderness.

We hope this information is useful for you. If you have questions about seromas or any of our treatment, please contact us. We are always happy to help.

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