Hi...I found this information on SEROMA
...it explains things very well...you can also see my other post regarding this:
What is a seroma
? A seroma
is defined as a sterile accumulation of serum in a circumscribed location in the tissue. The difference between a seroma
and an abscess is that an abscess involves the presence of white blood cells, bacteria, and the breakdown products of both. In other words, an abscess is defined as an infection. A seroma
, on the other hand, is just fluid, serum that has accumulated in a dead space in the tissue. It is the result of tissue insult and the product of tissue inflammation and the body's defense mechanisms.
OK, that's fine, now what do I do about it? Before we discuss how to treat it, let's try to find out why it happened in the first place. First be assured that it is a perfectly normal response. The body is simply reacting to the presence of a dead space within tissue that previously was firmly attached to something. When we remove a large mass, or create a defect , we damage the very small vessels that previously ran from the underlying tissue (i.e., muscle, connective tissue) to the overlying tissue (i.e., skin, muscle). Although these vessels do not cause significant blood loss, they do allow escape of serum into the area. There is also the resulting tissue damage that occurs regardless of how carefully we dissect. This tissue damage results in cellular death. The body's reaction is an inflammatory one. As a result of the inflammation, cell death, and increased vascular permeability, fluid will accumulate in the newly created space. This process will generally resolve over time if there is some form of natural drainage, if there is not continued irritation to the area, if circulation to the area is sufficient, and if the person is in good health.
Our first inclination is to drain it. Remove that fluid and everything will be just fine. Unfortunately, once the fluid is gone, the dead space is recreated, and the body simply fills it up again. The body hates dead space, and it will always try to fill it up. Eventually, this will be done with fibrotic tissue, but that takes time. Over time, fibrotic tissue will eventually fill all the space and the body will reabsorb the fluid on its own.
Can we do anything to speed this natural healing? Increasing the circulation to a healing area will often help to reduce the swelling. The fluid will be reabsorbed into the blood stream faster, and the increased blood flow will bring oxygen and nutrients to the newly forming tissue. Heat is an excellent way to increase circulation to an area. Hot packing a seroma
is a simple, inexpensive, and very effective way to medically manage a seroma
. Applying a moist, very warm towel, or gauze pack to a swelling for 10-15 minutes several times daily will often be the only treatment needed to resolve the swelling. In some cases, the judicious use of anti-inflammatory medication will also help to reduce the amount of fluid that accumulates. However, keep in mind that some anti-inflammatory medications (i.e., glucocorticoid) can retard healing if used in high doses for extended periods of time.
There will be cases when conservative medical management may not be the best option. Sometimes draining the seroma
may be your only choice. If this is the case, keep several things in mind. First, a seroma
is a sterile condition. However, if you stick a needle into it and introduce some bacteria, it is an ideal media for bacterial growth. What started out as a sterile accumulation of fluid will now become a raging abscess. If care is taken to use strict aseptic technique, draining can be done without introducing bacteria. However, you still will have the problem of reaccumulation of fluid. This may require repeated draining, and each time the risk of contaminating the seroma
exists. A better way to deal with a seroma
that does not appear to be resolving on its own, is to create a permanent drain and treat prophylactically with antibitotics to prevent infection. A permanent drain will allow the fluid to continuously escape until the body can complete the healing process on its own. A drain can be an artificial implanted device such as a piece of rubber tubing (Penrose drain), or it can be as simple as creating an opening at the lowest edge of the seroma
, and keeping this open and clean to allow continued drainage.
Hope the information helps. I think its pretty thorough.