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‘Tummy tucks, seromas and massage’ blog by Courtney


Tummy tucks (also known as abdominoplasty) are becoming very popular and increasingly advertised as the ultimate “mummy makeover” in which is it normally combined with surgery elsewhere on the body – for example breast uplift.


So, let’s talk numbers, even though in the UK the number of these procedures have decreased, with 2021 only seeing 1448 performed whereas in 2013 there was nearly double that with 3466. However, that is in the UK alone and we all know that due to the cost of this cosmetic surgery in the UK, a lot of ladies decide to travel abroad to have this surgery performed with the addition of either breast uplift etcfor a lesser cost.

As stated in my previous blog about “Boobs jobs and massage”, cosmetic surgeries are on the riseespecially those travelling abroad and like all surgeries you may experience or develop complications during or after the procedure and the more invasive procedures have a higher percentage of complications.

 

Which leads me onto the most common complication following a tummy tuck – seromas. These can occur after any type of cosmetic surgery but it is most common complication occurring in 15% to 30% of tummy tuck procedures.


Other surgeries that can result in seromas are:


• Liposuction

• BBL (Brazilian Butt Lifts)

• Breast enlargements

• Mastectomy

 

So, what is a seroma? … Seromas are a build-up of clear/yellowish fluid under the skin which forms a pocket within the tissue. This can occur a few days or even weeks after your surgery. One study found that there was a higher percentage of a seroma between days 11 (38%) and 18 (33%) post-surgery, lowering to 19% on day 32. Therefore, it is most evident that seromas can develop around two weeks even up to a month post-surgery.

 

You are probably thinking, well what can cause a seroma and how can you prevent or reduce the chance of developing one after your surgery? Like I have said above most develop due to surgery or a trauma where a large amount of tissue has been removed or disrupted. This trauma extremely comprises, damages, or removes your lymphatic vessels and pathways, which results in fluid accumulating and not being able to be filtered and removed properly. So cosmetic procedures such as tummy tuck are more common to developing seromas due to the nature of surgery where the stomach and groin lymph nodes are damaged.

 

Which leads on nicely to … how we can reduce or prevent the formation of a seroma. Many seromas will just be reabsorbed into the body over time, it can take up to a month for it drain. It is becoming very rare to have them medically drained unless there is no improvement, they are extremely painful or are causing a fever, redness, or tenderness etc. If this is the case, please make sure you contact your surgeon or GP which may result in the aspiration of the seroma – using a needle to drain the fluid.

 

However, many surgeons are now recommending manual lymphatic massage as a treatment and as an early prevention intervention of seromas alongside kinesiology taping techniques, to help aid the drainage of excess fluid following surgery. You are probably thinking, well how does that work exactly? Advanced massage techniques are used to stimulate and boost your lymphatic system and with light pressure and pumping techniques over the seroma and around the area with help manually drain the excess fluid and guide it to the lymph nodes where it will be filtered and eliminated. AND added bonus … you can start MLD massage pretty much straight after your surgery (this will be assessed and discussed with both your surgeon and therapist and can vary depending on the individual).

 

BUT… MLD massage isn’t just important for the treatment or prevention of seromas, it also plays an extremely role in not only your recovery but your preparation of surgery too. Many surgeons, especially in America have started to promote MLD massage and really understanding the benefits and impact it has on their patients’ preparation, recovery and surgery outcome. Some have even stated that MLD massage is now more crucial than the compression (this does not mean you should not wear compression after surgery – this still plays an important role in your recovery). But the two interventions used together will produce the best outcome post-surgery.

 

If you think about it, you are spending a considerable amount of money on this type of surgery! Then why wouldn’t you make sure your outcome is the best it can be and within a shorter time frame?! Your preparation prior to your surgery will ensure that you are at your best health, therefore reducing the risks and complications associated with surgery and putting you in a better position regarding healing and recovery post-surgery. Post-surgery, MLD massage will speed up your healing process and optimise your outcome.  

 

An optimally function lymphatic system ensures the following benefits prior and post-surgery:

• Improved lymphatic flow and function prior to surgery.

• Increase immune function – less risk of complications

• Decreased swelling and bruising

• Better pain management

• Reduction of scar formation

• Improved tissue regeneration

• Shortened recovery time

 

Makes sense, no? Better your investment! If you are having a tummy tuck procedure or any type of surgery soon or have just had surgery, please take a look at the bespoke packages that are available at La Ross Aesthetics which also includes medical grade light therapy treatments to give you the most optimal recovery time and results.


Here is an example of a seroma, post tummy tucks that I manually drained.. pain free!



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