[Deep Dive into Plastic Surgery Side Effects] Solutions to Seroma after Mammoplasty
Women’s breasts symbolize self-confidence to some extent. But workout and diet cannot solely reshape or change in the volume of the breasts. Many Asian women, in particular, feel inferior about their small breasts. Since they receive mammoplasty as a solution, the number of cases reporting complications is increasing.
CARD 1. “Seroma” Occurs Even Several Years after Mammoplasty
Complications usually occur within a year of mammoplasty. But seroma can occur several years later. Seroma can be a major symptom of Breast implant associated - Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), a rare type of cancer occurring from rough-surfaced, textured implants. I questioned about the causes and solutions of seroma to Director Kim Kikap from the U&U Plastic Surgery.
CARD 2. Case of Seroma after Mammoplasty
# Ms. O had breast augmentation at B clinic, Sinsa-Dong with teardrop-shape, textured implants of 250cc made by a German company, Polytech. After 4 years, she searched on the internet as her right breast began growing larger. Her symptoms were similar to that of ALCL, which recently gained attention. B clinic said that there was seroma and removed it with a syringe. But 3 days later, seroma reoccurred, and Ms. O was recommended to remove implants or replace them. But she was also told that she had to cover the operation fees herself.
CARD 3. Correlation between Mammoplasty and Seroma
Seroma may develop after any surgeries. Seroma is a mass of transparent serum
(the watery, yellow part of blood without blood cells.) According to some journals, the incidence of seroma occurring after mammoplasty is about 1~2%. But the cause has not been accurately revealed.
CARD 4. Causes Depending on When Seroma Developed after Mammoplasty
If seroma occurs within a year after surgery, the cause may be the surgery, and mostly it naturally gets absorbed in the body. Taking anti-inflammatory and antibiotics help relieve symptoms. On the other hand, like the case of Ms. O, seroma can develop 4 years later when friction occurs by strong pressure or external crush.
CARD 5. Textured Implants, Higher Risk of Developing Seroma
Because the textured implants have rough surfaces, the friction between body tissue and the implant is aggressive. Besides, it has a larger surface area, increasing the probability of developing seroma. Also, one of early symptoms of rare cancer ALCL can be seroma. If more than 30cc of serum is aspirated around the inserted textured implant, it’s necessary to have a serum analasys.
CARD 6. Treatment Method for Ms. O
If there is no cancer, infection, or inflammation, then it’s not an emergency. But it’s better to solve the problem by capsulectomy that completely removes the implants and capsules. If you are considering having a revision operation, I recommend microtextured or smooth type of implants. Reoperation can bring less pain and faster recovery.
CARD 7. How to Prepare in Case of Seroma after Mammoplasty
If you had textured implants of any brands and have abnormalities such as shape changes, lumps, pain, skin rash, then checkup for BIA-ALCL is advised. If it reoccurs repeatedly, a full checkup like breast ultrasound is recommended.
CARD 8. Advice: Director Kim Kikap from the U&U Plastic Surgery
“The incidence rate of seroma is higher in obese patients and smokers. You must stop smoking and drinking while managing your weight after the surgery. Any surgery can bring complications, so thorough mutual communication with the operating surgeon is important for finding and managing complications that may occur after mammoplasty.”
CARD 9. TIP. Can You Claim Expense for Reoperation?
“If the surgeon had known that there was a problem with the implants and used them, then it can be a medical negligence, but if not, then he/she isn’t responsible for it. However, if there weren’t enough explanations on complications and side effects following the surgery, then you can claim compensation to him/her for violation of liability for an explanation,” Attorney Seon Ho Lee of Yeon Woo Legal Professional Assoc. commented.