A Clinical Study of Late Seroma in Breast Implantation Surgery
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- Mazzocchi, M., Dessy, L.A., Corrias, F. et al. Aesth Plast Surg (2012) 36: 97. doi:10.1007/s00266-011-9755-3
The use of mammary implants may lead to a variety of early and delayed complications. The most common delayed complications are capsular contracture and implant failure. Late seroma has seldom been reported. In a long-term prospective observational study, cases of late seroma were assessed and recorded.
Between March 2005 and November 2009, suspected cases of late seroma in patients who had undergone breast augmentation or reconstruction with textured implants were evaluated clinically and with instrumental analyses. An ultrasound-guided needle aspiration of the fluid was performed.
In this study, 13 cases of late seroma (8 augmentations and 5 reconstructions) were observed. The overall incidence of this complication was 1.68%. Chemical analyses confirmed the diagnosis of seroma, which recurred in all the patients within days of evacuation. For 12 patients, a reoperation was performed, during which the implant was removed, a total capsulectomy was performed, and in cases of subglandular breast augmentation, the implant pocket was changed to a submuscular placement before a new prosthesis was inserted. One patient underwent a second ultrasound-guided needle aspiration. No seroma recurrence was observed in any of the patients during the follow-up period.
In case of unexpected breast enlargement after prosthesis implantation, the physician should first rule out infection, then investigate possible friction irritation from either a fold in the device or rubbing of a textured implant. According to the authors’ experience and another report, this complication occurs in 1% to 2% of cases. The inclusion of this complication in the informed consent form should be considered. Long-term studies designed to investigate the underlying causes of late seroma are warranted for the prevention and treatment of this complication.