post op seroma - advice please

I had a mastectomy and immediate reconstruction with a DIEP flap on 10th July. All going well but I started developing an abdominal seroma a week after the surgery. I have had it checked by the hospital and they have no desire to do anything unless it becomes really tense, which is fine, but I wondered if anyone had been given any advice about how to get rid of a seroma. The plastics nurses just said that it would go away in its own time but couldn’t really tell me how long that would be. Should I massage it (ouch)? Wear compression pants? Do gentle exercise? Do no exercise? SLeep on it? Sleep off it? Any ideas welcome, it isn’t getting any bigger now, but it is just sitting there and I’m going to have a big flubber when I put my bikini on in Cornwall in 2 weeks!!


Not really sure what to suggest - I had a slight seroma under my arm after my WLE and nodes. My surgeon drained it once but they do tend to fill up again … 6 months post op and I still ahve a slight squidgy bit under myt armpit.

Hope your’s disappears quickly - might be an idea to speak to the BCN or the plastics nurse again and ask the questions about exercise and sleeping positions etc.

Good luck and I’m sure you will look beautiful in your bikini in cornwall.

Hi lizzab,

Could I suggest that you either phone the helpline or email the Ask the Nurse email service who may be able to help you with this one. The helpline is open Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm and Sat 9am - 2pm 0808 800 6000.

Kind regards,
Jo, Facilitator

hi - my seroma was post mastectomy and nodes clearance - didn’t do re-con… i had it syringed for about 3 weeks… they said that seromas do settle but they did it to ensure that there was no tension on wound… sounds like they don’t think your tummy is too bad… the good news of course is that serum is lovely healthy stuff that aids healing. i can appreciate you don’t want it for your hol tho!!

jen x

I had a seroma after my 2nd mastectomy & node removal. Had to get it drained a few times to relieve the aching, but they weren’t keen because of the danger of introducing infection. I was told that seromas can last weeks or months but always go away eventually.
A couple of weeks later I got an infection - not a result of draining - and had various antibiotics before the infection healed. Ironically, the infection made the skin ‘sticky’ and the seroma disappeared.
Not sure what the moral of this story is but just watch out for infections.
Love, Lynn
PS I also had an infecion after my 1st mastectomy, but no seroma that time. Maybe I’m just lucky!

I had mine drained once after the mastectomy because the tightness of the swelling was increasing the pain. Surgeon says “some fluid” is good to aid healing. If it is causing you discomfort then it is probably best to call the hosp and get them to draw it off for you.

I was told by bcn that sleeping on it helps too - if you can stand it!

i had my seroma drained 4 times before it settled down. felt very uncomfortable and couldnt wear anything next to my skin. my bcn was happy to drain it each time it filled up but i know some dont like to touch it in case of infection
good luck

Msmolly, would love to meet your BCN. Sure she means vey well, but has she ever had to sleep on a seroma.? I can’t even sleep without putting pressure on it

Best wishes Jilly xx

Agony isn’t it Jilly?! I have been trying to do it - it is certainly horrible getting positioned on to that side and once I’m there I am a beached whale and cannot move. But I have to say that almost all the fluid has gone now.