Seroma after Liposuction

A seroma is a pool of serum or lymph serum within a cavity inside the body. Serum is the yellowish liquid portion of blood that remains after the red blood cells and white blood cells have been removed. A seroma after liposuction can occur. It is usually an annoyance, but not a dangerous complication. Left alone without treatment, a seroma will more often than not resolve slowly over several weeks to many months. To quicken the removal of a seroma, the cosmetic surgeon may get rid of the serum by inserting a needle and draining the seroma directly into a syringe.

Seromas may be brought about by the usage of large diameter liposuction cannulas, or very forceful liposuction in a confined to a small area of fat. Seromas after liposuction are a typical unpleasant result of ultrasonic assisted liposuction (UAL). Seromas rarely occur when cosmetic surgeons utilize the tumescent liposuction with microcannulas and use the “open-drainage” method for post-operation liposuction care.

Seroma after liposuction can be prevented from occurring when the cosmetic surgeon;

1)     Avert unnecessary surgical trauma to the fragile lymphatic vessels within fat, and

2)     By encouraging post-operative drainage of lymph fluid (serum) from the fatty tissues treated with liposuction.

First, the use of microcannulas can minimize significantly the risk of seromas. Micro-cannulas are relatively small liposuction cannulas having an outside diameter less than 3 millimeters. By making relatively small puncture holes within the targeted fat deposits; micro-cannulas do not produce large cavities within which a seroma can form as easily as larger cannulas. Large cannulas remove fat more quickly, but are susceptible to cause seromas because large cannulas have a propensity to rupture lymphatic vessels, and create larger cavities within the fat deposits.

Second, when incisions are closed with stitches, a large volume of fluid is trapped under the skin where it pools and settles in the tunnels within the fat, thus causing a seroma. By not closing incisions with stitches (the “open-drainage” technique) and by using effective compression garments, the drainage of blood tinged tumescent anesthetic solution and the lymphatic exudates made possible. Compression garments tighten the walls of the cavities together, which enables the tunnel walls to adhere and grow together thereby eliminating the empty cavities in which seromas have a tendency to form.

Compression garments can aid in preventing seromas. Compression garments minimize both the frequency and size of seromas. Seroma after liposuction is a real possibility and an inherent risk for those who undergo liposuction surgery, ask more information from your cosmetic surgeon about this complication.

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