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How do you prevent seromas after surgery?

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Seromas can be prevented through applying tissue sealants, platelet gels or quilting sutures to the surgical site, according to Seminars in Plastic Surgery. Sclerotherapy is also used to reduce the incidence of seromas, but some studies found its effectiveness uncertain.

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Tissue sealants can come in the form of platelet gels, topical thrombin or fibrin glue, as Seminars in Plastic Surgery explains. They enhance the body's ability to form clots, which helps the surgical wound heal faster. Fibrin sealants are made either from human plasma or bovine tissue. Fibrin glues also strengthen the bonds between tissues whether the surgical wound has been sutured or not, removing the dead space beneath the wound where seromas can form.

Fibrin works because it acts as a scaffold that draws collagen and substances that bind cells together, as a study from the University of Tours claims. Platelets, which are components of the blood crucial to wound healing, stimulate the production of growth factors.

Surgeons use quilting sutures to prevent seromas during cosmetic surgeries such as a tummy tucks, explains RealSelf. The results of this technique are also uncertain. With quilting sutures, flaps of skin are sewn to the underlying muscle, which aims at eliminating any dead space for the seroma to form.

Sclerotherapy to remove existing seromas seems to work after mastectomy, as an American Journal of Surgery article indicates. Patients were given subcutaneous povidone iodine or 95 percent ethyl alcohol two or three times a day for about 30 minutes.

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