abdominal seroma after DIEP flap op

I’m wondering whether anyone else has had trouble with abdomonal seromas after DIEP flap surgery? There seem to be a lot of ladies out there having this type of op., surely I’m not the only one with this problem? The seroma is only small according to the scanner, but seems to fill up during the day and go down over night. It’s really annoying, as it’s spoiling my new slim tummy! I wonder if this occurred because I wasn’t given a corset to wear after surgery, or because I had to have an abdominal washout after getting an infection.
It doesn’t seem to have changed since April, when I had my surgery and am wondering what the solution will be.
Hope to hear from anyone who has had this experience.

hi lotty.Im in my 4th week after my Diep and Ive got a continual seroma buildup…I have to go back and get it drained every 2nd or 3rd day.I too wasnt advised to wear a corset,but maybe thats nothing to do with our problem.My new breast is also full of something,they expect it to be blood from the time of the op as it swelled up within hours and hasnt gone down at all.my tummy is swollen with fluid all the time apart from straight after the syringe!They have talked about a washout as Ive got am infection…really dont fancy going under again so soon.You seem to be coping so well with it all when did you have your op? best wishes,Debs

hi ladies
i had a diep done 2 weeks ago and now have an extended upper stomach which feels very tight and i am sure you could bounce a penny on a la army bed making!! can you reassure me or do you think that i too should be having any fluid build up removed?
wishing you all the best with your recovery.

Hi S
I have to say that I’m at a bit of a loss to advise and am hoping other people who have been through this and out the other side will give us all some advice!
Having said that…2 weeks is very early days, so I would give it a lot longer to settle before making any decisions.
Mention it when you have your next check up and see what they say. When you say ‘extended’, do you mean swollen or just tight??

Hi Lotty
thank you for the advice and as you say its early days. i am due to see consultant in 3-4 weeks so will see how it is then and i mean tight rather than swollen,someone did tell me that they pump you full of air so perhaps its down to that!
hope things improve with you.

Hi girls - I had a tram flap recon 10 weeks ago and today had to get some fluid removed from an abdominal seroma. I felt that my tummy had turned into a water bed! It was quite painless and only took the surgeon 10 minutes and now I feel much more comfortable. He said it is something that happens from time to time and if it happens again just to call the hospital and they will see me again at the dressing clinic. If you are worried phone the unit where you had your op and they will advise you - it’s better than waiting and worrying.

Lotty,how are you doing hows your tummy now?Ive been reading our old threads and when I re read about you going back in for 2 weeks and having a washout plus vacum pump etc etc.Im sure as we get better we forget how difficult the road has been.Anyway just wanted to say hi again,let me know your news .Debs x

Hi Debs
I’m feeling a bit fed up about the swelling, to be honest. My consultant said I should do sit ups to help the muscle tone and I feel it’s worse. I may have put on a bit of weight too. But I feel a bit depressed that one of the pluses of having this op was to have a flat stomach, which I quite evidently don’t have. The hardness on the underside of my reconstructed breast doesn’t seem to be getting any better and I haven’t heard from anyone who has had this experience to share.
I’m feeling a bit depressed about it today and feel I need a bit of positive direction. I would love to meet up with some people who have had this op to compare notes (well - maybe not - they all seem to have had good experiences!) On a positive note - the woman in the bra shop said that mine was the best reconstruction she had seen - so can’t all be bad!
I sometimes start to lose faith that the consultants actually know the solutions to some of the problems we are having and just want reassurance that all will be well in the end!
I’m contemplating asking to see the consultant before 8th December, when I’m currently due to go, but don’t really know if there’s much advantage to that.

How are you? Is the wound finally healing? I went to a Lymphodema awareness workshop and have a longer list of exercises to do now!

I had an immediate DIEP recon in July and was home in 5 days on the same day as having the second of the abdominal drains removed. Having had a beautiful flat stomach with the drains in, I was disappointed when the right side of my tummy developed a seroma (the side where the second drain was) 5 days later. The dressing nurses and registrars were unexcited by it and it wasn’t until I saw my PS back at 7 weeks post op that he said he wanted to get rid of that to avoid it becoming encapsulated. There was no evidence of infection. He drained it (120ml) and 2 weeks later it had recurred a bit smaller (85ml), but he said he would try once more and then put steroid in if it recurred again. 2 weeks after that - 60ml out and 80mg of steroid in. This was early October and now I have no seroma and no more treatment required until nipple recon in March. A friend (different hosp and PS) had an LD flap and a seroma which was just drained over and over again, so I think it depends on your PS. I have some medical knowledge and I cannot see the point in draining it repeatedly, particularly if it’s not getting any smaller, as your body will just keep putting the fluid there. Perhaps ask whether having steroid infused in is an option to your PS. Of course, if there is infection then they would not want to put steroid in, as it can make infections a LOT worse, but if your infection has cleared, it might be worth considering?

The underside, outer quadrant of my new breast goes hard and soft at different times. My PS says that it is just fluid accumulating, not a sign of bruising or bleeding or anything. It seems to fluctuate from day to day. Could yours be the same?

Hope things improve.
All the best x

Hi had mx and diep flap july since then all being going ok but notice that area in upper breast are very hard and can be painfully if lay on my side is this right or should i see my ps please advise me sue

Hi everyone had my diep flap op 6 days ago. I’m in quite a lot of pain but strong painkillers seem to help. Seem to have fluid on both new breast and tummy. I hope it wil go ? Do I need to get support for my tummy? Was counting on a lovely flat stomach eventually so don’t want to mess it up !!!

Thank you so much Caroluna , I will try and find same support pants as I feel that could well help . It’s nice to be in touch with someone in the same boat. Thank you.