What are the symptoms of a seroma?

Symptoms of a seroma include swelling at or near a surgical site and leakage of clear fluid through the incision. The area may or may not be painful. If infection develops, additional symptoms can include leakage of pus, redness, warmth or swelling, tenderness, or fever and chills.

Common symptoms of a seroma

Common symptoms of a seroma include:

  • Leakage of clear fluid from a surgical incision
  • Redness, warmth or swelling at or near a surgical site
  • Tenderness near a surgical incision

Serious symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening condition

In some cases, a seroma can become infected or result in opening of the surgical site. Left untreated, these complications can be life threatening. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of these life-threatening symptoms including:

  • High fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Pus draining from a surgical site
  • Severe pain at a surgical site
  • Significant separation of a surgical wound
  • Uncontrollable or persistent bleeding from a surgical site
INTRODUCTION

What is a seroma?

A seroma is an accumulation of fluid in a tissue or organ that can occur after surgery, or sometimes after an injury such as blunt trauma. The fluid, called serum, leaks out of nearby damaged blood and lymphatic vessels. Cells are typically present in the fluid, which is normally clear.

... Read more about seromaintroduction

CAUSES

What causes a seroma?

Seromas develop as a result of damage to blood and lymphatic vessels that occurs during surgery or as the result of an injury. Fluid and cells from the damaged vessels leak into the tissues and form a soft fluid collection. Seromas are most common after extensive surgeries or those that involve disruption of a large amount of tissue, including surgeries performed for Read more about seromacauses

TREATMENTS

How is a seroma treated?

Small seromas may not require any treatment as they often resolve on their own. Larger seromas often require aspiration (removal of fluid), which is usually done with a needle. Sometimes multiple aspirations are required, or a drain may be placed until fluid stops accumulating. Seromas that become infected may require antibiotic therapy and, although rarely, surgery may be required to treat a s... Read more about seromatreatments

Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Haines, MD Last Annual Review Date: Aug 8, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.