Seroma is a non-life threatening issue in most patients, and it is an issue that can occur in men and women. While the issue is serious if infection sets in, a trip to your doctor will prove beneficial. He may even tell you to let the issue resolve on it’s own.
If you’re a woman dealing with seroma after a C section, you’re frantic right now worrying if you’ll be able to remain home with your child and which treatments are available.
The good news is I am going to answer all of your questions right below.
Table of Contents
8 Things Truths About Seroma After a C Section
1. What Is Seroma?
If you suffer from fluid pockets after a C section, this is seroma. But these serious fluid developments can occur after any form of surgery. Even a blunt injury can cause seroma and fluid build-up to occur. It’s not fun, and this condition occurs most often near the site of the incision.
Fluid, called serum, can slowly collect and not show any signs of existence for several weeks.
2. What Causes Seroma?
Even a minor surgery can cause seroma, and this is most common after an extensive procedure. A woman that undergoes a C section may suffer from seroma because the surgery is intense, although routine. If you have ever had surgery where tubes are attached for drainage, this is to drain any fluid that may build up in the body.
Drainage tubes can be left in for a few hours or days as needed.
And I am sure your doctor will explain most of this to you before the procedure. Don’t be afraid to pepper your doctor with questions – it’s your body that will undergo the trauma.
The good news it that drainage tubes are enough to prevent most cases of seroma. But this doesn’t mean you have good luck. There is always the chance that a week or two after the procedure, fluid will begin to be noticeable near the incision.
For a woman who is trying to get her figure back, this is a setback for sure. You want to fit into those cute, non-frumpy clothes you were wearing before you gave birth. Sadly, your body had other plans for you.
3. What Surgeries Cause Seroma?
Seroma after a C section is less common than seroma after these surgeries:
- Hernia repair
- Tummy tuck
- Breast augmentation
Any form of body contouring provides a higher risk of having seroma.
4. How Do I Identify Seroma?
Seroma may be hard to identify at first, but we’ll get you up to speed so that you can call your doctor and have the issue taken care of ASAP. A few of the main characteristics of seroma are:
- A swollen lump
- The area is sore and tender
- Clear discharge coming from the incisions
If you have any of these signs, it’s likely seroma. Now, if you choose not to have the issue looked at by a doctor, calcification can occur, which leaves a hard knot in the area. You’re also at risk of getting an infection.
I know – first a baby and now an infection.
Lucky you. The signs that an infection may be present include discharge that is:
If you meet any of these criteria, do yourself a favor and stop reading this article and contact your doctor.
5. Great. What Can a Doctor Do to Help?
If you get seroma after a C section or any surgery, you’ll need to undergo an emergency drainage surgery. This type of surgery will depend on the severity of the issue. If you have had surgery and the area has become infected, you may need to be admitted to the hospital and undergo intense surgery.
You’ll also have to be on antibiotics to ensure that infection doesn’t occur.
It’s also possible that you’ll spend a few days in the hospital recovering from the surgery.
6. What’s Seroma Made of Anyway?
You know that this is a form of liquid, but what is this liquid made up of anyway? Well, this fluid is actually serum, which is a fluid component of blood. There have been studies on seroma and research on how to remove the liquid with less invasive methods.
And one study found that the fluid contained:
- Lymphatic fluid
- Fibrous tissue
These liquids may or may not be present, but when they are, they’re often found in the seroma cavity.
7. Can Seroma Heal Naturally?
Yes, sometimes. This isn’t something you want to wait out and see if it heals. You should consult with a doctor immediately if you notice any fluid build-up in the body. But seroma can also heal on its own, and in very mild cases, your doctor may recommend that you take this route.
Natural healing varies from person to person.
It may take a week or years for the healing to occur, and while the condition isn’t fatal, it can be very serious, especially if infection sets in.
When talking to your doctor, be sure to ask about any warning signs that may indicate a serious issue. I know that my friend was told to contact the doctor if she suffered from:
- Leaking fluid
- Severe pain
I think that this is great advice and a good time to have the issue reevaluated. I’m sure you’ll agree.
8. What Can I Do to Lower My Risks of Infection?
If an infection is going to occur, there is little you can do after it presents, aside from seeking medical attention. But this doesn’t mean that you have no options available. A good rule of thumb is to keep the sight of the incision clean and wear loose clothing to not irritate the area.
While seroma is internal, if you take these measures, you’ll at least lower your risk of infection at the incision site.
Keep in mind that you should always consult with your physician the moment you notice any lump, drainage or signs of infection after surgery of any kind. A quick call to the doctor is a much better scenario than having to undergo emergency surgery.