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Wound seroma
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Wound seroma

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Contributors: Michael Nguyen, Susan Burgin MD
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Synopsis

A wound seroma is an accumulation of serous fluid in the subcutaneous layer that follows a surgical procedure. Tissue damage and increased vascular permeability result in a sterile collection of proteinaceous fluid in the dead space within the tissue. It typically develops shortly after surgery, but may form a week or two later. If untreated, it can persist for many months. It may undergo secondary calcification. Smaller seromas do, however, tend to resolve spontaneously.

A seroma is usually painless, but mild discomfort may occur. A clear discharge may be present. In the rare case of secondary infection, a seroma may become tender and develop into an abscess requiring immediate medical attention. Other signs of infection include fever and a bloody, malodorous, or purulent discharge.

The most common types of surgeries that cause wound seromas are breast, abdominal wall, and reconstructive surgeries, particularly if skin flaps are created or if a foreign body, such as prosthetic mesh, is introduced.

Codes

ICD10CM:
T88.8XXA – Other specified complications of surgical and medical care, not elsewhere classified, initial encounter

SNOMEDCT:
239159001 – Wound seroma

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Last Reviewed: 03/08/2017
Last Updated: 03/08/2017
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Wound seroma
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Wound seroma : Trauma, Painful skin lesion, Swelling at surgery or injury site
Clinical image of Wound seroma
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