I had an exploratory laparotomy on January 3rd, 2012. They cut me open and and cleaned up a lot of scar tissue and repaired my ventrial hernia that I had. They put I'm new mesh. To make a long story short, I developed a seroma and have been hospitalized three times in the last month for the seroma. The first two times, I had drains in and now this last time the surgeon didn't want to drain it. I'm STILL in pain and its frustration cause they keep telling me its "normal"!! I'm so tired of this pain and I don't know what to do. Any advice if anyone has had this issue??
Unfortunately, postoperative seromas can represent a challenging problem, although it is rare that they cause significant pain. In my practice, I tend to leave drains at the time of surgery and then keep them in until they're putting out less than 30 ml of fluid each day. This can help collapse the seroma cavity and keep it from re-accumulating. The problem with leaving drains in too long, or performing repeated drainage procedures for a recurrent seroma, is the risk of infecting the underlying mesh and causing a much bigger problem. I will often try to follow a seroma for 6 months or more to see if it resolves on its own. Aside from drainage, treatment with a daily anti-inflammatory (ibuprofen, naproxen, meloxicam, etc.) may help relieve the pain until the seroma reabsorbs. An occasional muscle relaxant such as cyclobenzaprine may also help a bit. Wearing an abdominal binder may help to compress the seroma and help it resolve faster. I’ve also heard reports of using a diuretic (water pill) such as furosemide to speed the reabsorption, but have not resorted to this in my practice. Sorry if there’s not a whole lot to offer, but perhaps some of these ideas may help. Otherwise a long-term drain may be the solution to collapse the cavity and prevent recurrence, but you’ll have to weigh the benefits with the risk of infecting the mesh and then probably having it removed if that occurs.
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