How to Prevent a Seroma After Tummy Tuck Surgery

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A seroma is the post-operative collection of fluid under the skin flap, and most cosmetic surgery has this complication. Following a tummy tuck---formally known as abdominoplasty---the formation of a seroma is always a possibility. A seroma not only delays wound healing, but can lead to infections and tissue necrosis if left untreated. In tandem with your cosmetic surgeon, there are a few things you can do to minimise the possibility of a seroma.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Hemostatic medicine
  • Abdominal binder
  • Surgical adhesive

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  1. 1

    Take a hemostatic agent such as tranexamic acid(marketed as Cyklokapron in the United States). Regulate the dose as prescribed by your doctor to prevent adverse effects.

  2. 2

    Measure the liquid collected in the drainage bag installed at the end of the surgery.

  3. 3

    Spray surgical adhesive or tissue glue in the flap to eliminate the space in the scar where seromas can form.

  4. 4

    Wear an abdominal binder that compresses the tissues that are severed, decreasing tissue "dead space" and providing abdominal support.

  5. 5

    Keep your abdomen as immobile as possible for the first three to six days following surgery; this allows the gastric contents to stabilise and return to their normal anatomical position.

Tips and warnings

  • Because of the existence of drains in tummy tuck surgery as compared to other cosmetic surgery, the occurrence of seromas has decreased. The drains prevent fluid accumulation at the surgical site.
  • Traditional surgery uses only sutures to close up the wound. By applying a surgical adhesive, you eliminate more "space" and maintain the tissues in a normal position, so that healing can occur.
  • Limit immobilisation to the abdominal area; if you remain immobile in other areas, you increase your risk of thrombus formation, orthostatic pneumonia and pressure ulcers.

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