What Causes a Seroma and How to Avoid it

A seroma is a collection of clear serous fluid most often at a surgical site where tissue has been removed. This can be a complication after gynecomastia surgery. The swelling and fluid may not happen right away but can develop several weeks after surgery.

Seromas Lead to Serious Complications

Usually, a seroma will resolve in a few weeks, but the accumulation of fluid will cause the skin to sag and may cause discomfort. In some cases, a seroma can lead to serious complications, such as infection, and delayed wound healing. If an infection should occur, it may have developed into an abscess requiring medical treatment. The patient will be instructed to notify the surgeon of any noticeable swelling or abnormalities.

Small seromas may resolve on their own, but if left untreated they may calcify and form solid knots. Larger seromas may require needle aspiration or even drain replacement.

Methods of Prevention

Drainage is the most accepted method of prevention along with a compression garment. A compression vest will help the skin and tissue heal faster, reduce swelling and bruising and reduce the risk of developing a seroma.

A hematoma is different than a seroma in that a hematoma contains red blood cells, and an abscess is different as it contains puss from an infection.

Drains and Compression Vests

Some surgeons do not use drains, and some do not use compression vests after gynecomastia surgery. Dr. Miguel Delgado, M.D. not only advocates the use of drains, he also is a firm believer in compression vests. Dr. Delgado designed his own compression vests that he makes available to his patients. His custom-made vests have pockets for the drain bulbs to rest in, instead of being attached with safety pins. These custom-made vests additionally aid in binding the chest tissues together, decrease post-operative pain, and increase blood flow.

Dr. Delgado has over 25 years of gynecomastia surgery experience, and he states that his incidence of complications is very minimal. Call today (415) 898-4161 for a consultation for any gynecomastia issues you may have.

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