Complications from Tummy Tuck & Liposuction

Is it normal to have some fluid buildup after a tummy tuck? Is it one of the side effects of my tummy tuck?

You are having what’s called seroma, or in laymen’s terms fluid buildup. There is no reason to be alarmed! Fluid buildup right after the tummy tuck surgery is not abnormal and quite common after this type of cosmetic surgery procedure. A seroma is a pocket of clear serous fluid that sometimes develops in the body after surgery. Incidentally, your chances of developing a seroma are even higher, if you had a liposuction procedure done in addition to your tummy tuck. The reason for that is there is more trauma to the body when you combine tummy tucks with liposuction.

Seromas are different from hematomas, which contain red blood cells and pus resulted in from an infection. Our surgeons will keep you overnight in the hospital before releasing you, to make sure you do not develop a hematoma.

Depending on the extent of the surgery, each patient will have different time lines of healing after tummy tuck surgery. The healing process also varies from patient to patient. As a rule, immediately after the surgery, our surgeons will place drains to drain the fluids. The drains should stay in for at least one week. This is a normal procedure, because we don't want to have any fluid buildup. Fluid buildup will cause the area of separation between the skin and the muscle to enlarge.

liposuction-side-effectsSince you will be able to travel home five days after the surgery, our doctors will take the drains out a day before. We want to make your trip back to the States more comfortable. Typically, patients who had tummy tucks should stay at home for 2-3 weeks before returning to work. We do understand that it is difficult to take so much time off work. Since you may be moving a bit more than our surgeons would like you to move, you may be causing more heat in the body and therefore the healing process is going to take a bit longer. Consequently, upon your return to your home town, you may schedule an appointment with a local doctor to place some surgical drains, if you continue to have some fluid buildup. Again, it is not abnormal and our surgeons will be available for follow-up telephone/Skype consultations free of charge.

What should you do, if you fluid buildup does not diminish after 3-4 weeks?
Here is what our plastic surgeons recommend. If your fluid buildup doesn't diminish by the end of the forth week, a local surgeon can do two things. First, your surgeon can reopen the scar. Our surgeons typically make an opening three inches wide and "roughen up" the surface under the skin and above the muscle tissue inside the cavity that is not closing. By creating rough surfaces, the body will close that cavity and fluid buildup will stop.

Alternatively, sometimes surgeons can inject the cavity where seroma is with ambient air. Our surgeons use syringes 200 CC or larger to inject small amount of air in to the cavity. This should allow the tissues to grow together and close the cavity. Injecting small amounts of ambient air should not cause any infection in the cavity.

Even after our patients return home, they continue to be under our surgeon’s care. That is, our plastic surgeons continue to monitor patients during their recovery and are available to them for consultations any time and free of charge.


Call us today for a free consultation with a board certified cosmetic surgeon and our low cost $5,200 Tummy Tuck packages or click below to get started.

Our IVF Clinic Video
Dental Implants
Fertility and IVF