What Are Seromas and How Are They Treated?

Dr. Smith answers the question: 'What Are Seromas and How To Treat Them?'

ByBarbara Smith, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Breast Program, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
September 28, 2007, 5:39 PM

— -- Question: What are seromas, can they be prevented, and how are they treated?

Answer: A seroma is a collection of liquid that happens in a surgical site. As part of the healing process, all incisions will make some amount of fluid, and there's always a small seroma present.

However sometimes the amount of fluid becomes larger and can actually cause pain or visible swelling in the breast. If this happens, the surgeon may have to put an incision or mainly a needle into the collection of fluid and drain it out with a syringe to relieve the pressure or to help the healing go more quickly.

To prevent a seroma, the surgeon during the operation will try to avoid leaving any spaces avoid any extra bleeding and ask the patient to not be too active in the first week or so after treatments so there isn't extra fluid collecting.

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