World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0004421835
Reproduction Date:

Title: Seroma  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Inguinal hernia surgery, Breast surgery, Fine-needle aspiration, Breast lump, Liposuction
Collection: Gross Pathology
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


A seroma is a pocket of clear serous fluid that sometimes develops in the body after surgery. When small blood vessels are ruptured, blood plasma can seep out; inflammation caused by dying injured cells also contributes to the fluid.

Seromas are different from hematomas, which contain red blood cells, and from abscesses, which contain pus and result from an infection. Serous fluid is also different from lymph.

Seromas can also sometimes be caused by injury, such as when the initial swelling from a blow or fall does not fully subside. The remaining serous fluid causes a seroma that the body usually gradually absorbs over time (often taking many days or weeks); however, a knot of calcified tissue sometimes remains.

Seromas are particularly common after breast surgery[1] (for example mastectomy), abdominal surgeries, and reconstructive surgery. They are a treatment target in partial-breast radiation therapy,[2] The larger the surgical intervention, the more likely it is that seromas appear. Larger seromas take longer to resolve than small seromas, and are more likely to undergo secondary infection.

Seromas may persist for several months[3] or even years, with the tissue surrounding the seroma hardening over time.


Seromas or lymphatic leaks (lymphoceles) may be difficult to manage at times. The removal of seromas by fine-needle aspiration is controversial:[4] it is recommended by some for the reason that seromas can be a culture medium for bacteria,[5] whereas others advise it only for excessive amounts of fluid collection because even an aspiration carried out under aseptic conditions carries a certain risk of infection.[6] Depending on the volume and duration of leakage, control of a leak may take up to a few weeks to resolve with aspiration of serums and the application of pressure dressings. Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) conducted by a trained professional can also assist in managing and treating seromas.

If a serum or leak does not resolve, for example after a soft tissue biopsy, it may be necessary to take the patient back to the operating room in order to place some form of closed suction drain into the wound. This usually is not necessary and conservative management prevails.[7]

In case of lumpectomy, the formation of a seroma at the lumpectomy site is sometimes considered helpful, in the sense that it may contribute to preserve the contour of the breast.[1][8][9]


  1. ^ a b Michael S. Sabel (23 April 2009). Essentials of Breast Surgery: A Volume in the Surgical Foundations Series. Elsevier Health Sciences. p. 177.  
  2. ^ Wong, Elaine K.; Truong, Pauline T.; Kader, Hosam A.; Nichol, Alan M.; Salter, Lee; Petersen, Ross; Wai, Elaine S.; Weir, Lorna; Olivotto, Ivo A. (1 October 2006), "Consistency in seroma contouring for partial breast radiotherapy: Impact of guidelines", Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 66 (2): 372–6,  
  3. ^ Dick Rainsbury; Dick Rainsbury & Virginia Straker (2008). Breast Reconstruction. Class Publishing Ltd. p. 142.  
  4. ^ Michael Depalma; Michael J Depalma, MD MD (2011). Ispine: Evidence-Based Interventional Spine Care. Demos Medical Publishing. p. 245.  
  5. ^ Department of Pathology University of Massachusetts Medical School (Emeritus) Guido Majno Professor; Department of Pathology University of Massachusetts Medical School (Emerita) Isabelle Joris Associate Professor (12 August 2004). Cells, Tissues, and Disease : Principles of General Pathology: Principles of General Pathology. Oxford University Press. p. 435.  
  6. ^ P. Prithvi Raj; Serdar Erdine (31 May 2012). Pain-Relieving Procedures: The Illustrated Guide. John Wiley & Sons. p. 397.  
  7. ^ Schwartz's principles of surgery: self assessment and board review, 8th edition, chapter 11, patient safety, errors, and complications in surgery
  8. ^ A. Thomas Stavros (2004). Breast Ultrasound. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 393.  
  9. ^ M. A. Hayat (5 November 2008). Methods of Cancer Diagnosis, Therapy and Prognosis: Breast Carcinoma. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 562.  

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.