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Seroma is a complication that can arise after any surgery, characterized by the accumulation of fluid under the skin, close to the surgical scar. This accumulation of fluid is more common after surgeries in which the skin and fatty tissue were cut and manipulated, such as after plastic surgery, abdominoplasty, liposuction, breast surgeries or after cesarean section, for example, being a result of inflammation caused by the procedure. and body defense reactions.
The small seroma can be reabsorbed naturally by the skin, resolving after about 10 to 21 days, however, in some cases, it is necessary to perform a puncture with a syringe by the doctor. To reduce this complication, it is recommended to use compression bandages or braces after surgery, in addition to care to facilitate healing.Check out essential care that must be taken with the cesarean scar.
Main signs and symptoms
Seroma can be identified from the following signs and symptoms:
- Outflow of clear or transparent liquid through the scar;
- Local swelling;
- Float in the scar site;
- Pain in the scar region;
- Reddened skin and increased temperature around the scar.
In addition, there may be a reddish or brown coloration when the seroma is mixed with blood, which is more common right after surgery, and tends to get lighter as healing continues.
As soon as signs of seroma are noticed, it is important to consult the doctor so that an evaluation can be carried out and, depending on the severity, treatment begins.
When seroma appears
Seroma usually appears during the first 1 to 2 weeks after surgery, and happens due to the accumulation of fluid in the dead space between the layers of the skin. After the appearance of symptoms that indicate seroma, it is necessary to talk to the surgeon who will assess the need for treatment.
When the seroma is left untreated, the accumulation of fluid that is not removed can harden, forming an encapsulated seroma,leaving the scar unsightly. In addition, treatment is also important because the seroma can become infected, forming an abscess in the scar, releasing pus, which is treated with antibiotics.
How the treatment is done
Treatment of seroma is only necessary when there is a large accumulation of fluid or pain occurs, because, in milder cases, the body is able to absorb excess fluid. However, when necessary, treatment is done by removing the fluid with a needle and syringe or placing a drain, which is a small tube inserted into the skin directly into the seroma, allowing the fluid to come out.Understand better what the drain is for and how to take care of it.
If pain relief is needed, the doctor may also prescribe analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs such as Paracetamol or Ibuprofen, for example.
The treatment of encapsulated seroma is more complicated, and the application of corticosteroids or surgery may be necessary for its removal. Ultracavitation is also a method that can be used, as it is based on a high power ultrasound, which is able to reach the region to be treated and form reactions that stimulate the elimination of liquid.
In cases where the seroma becomes infected, treatment is usually done with antibiotics prescribed by the doctor. In the case of encapsulated seroma, the doctor may recommend surgery to remove the fluid and to make the scar more beautiful.
Home treatment aims to prevent seroma from appearing and fight it at the first signs.One of the homemade options is the use of compressive belts depending on the type of surgery, being usually indicated after abdominal surgeries and cesarean section. Here's how to recover from cesarean section faster.
Also, it is important to ask the doctor about compresses or ointments that can be placed on the scar, as they speed up the healing process and reduce the swelling that normally arises after the surgical procedure. It is also important to eat foods that stimulate and facilitate healing, such as oranges, pineapples and carrots, for example. Check out a complete list of foods that speed healing.
What can cause seroma
Seromas can appear after any surgery, depending on how each person's body recovers. However, this problem is more common in:
- Extensive surgery, such as breast removal in case of cancer;
- Cases that need drains after surgery;
- Surgeries that cause injuries to various types of tissues;
- People who have a previous history of seroma.
Although it is a very common complication, it can be avoided with some simple precautions, such as wearing a belt over the scar site and avoiding intense exercise without medical advice.
Also, if there is an increased risk of developing a seroma, the doctor usually places a drain during surgery so that the accumulated fluid can come out while the wound heals. Check out the main precautions to be taken after abdominal surgery to speed up recovery.