Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Seroma

Contributor(s): Alasdair Hotston Moore, Jacqueline Davidson

Introduction

  • Cause: space created between tissue planes in a surgical or traumatic wound. Commonly seen in high-motion areas.
  • Signs: nonpainful, fluid-filled swelling beneath the skin.
  • Diagnosis: signs, history, +/- aspiration.
  • Treatment: conservative, occasionally drainage is required.
  • Prognosis: generally excellent, usually resolves spontaneously.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Excessive dead space between tissue layers, secondary to a surgical or traumatic wound, enables fluid to accumulate.
  • Excessive motion of tissue over a surgical wound can cause or exacerbate the problem.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Surgical or traumatic wound that contains dead space.
  • Surgical wound in a high-motion region, eg over the shoulder joint.

Pathophysiology

  • Inflammation and lymphatic injury promote the accumulation of plasma between the layers of disrupted tissue.
  • Exacerbated by excessive motion of the tissues at the surgical site.
  • May become an abscess, if secondarily infected.

Timecourse

  • Develops over several days time while the wound is healing.
  • Size of the swelling may increase for several days.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Waldron D R, Zimmerman-Pope N (2003) Superficial skin wounds. In: Textbook of small animal surgery. 3rd edn. Slatter. p 272.
  • Raskin R E & Meyer D J (2001) Atlas of canine and feline cytology. p 91.
  • Pavletic M M (1999) Atlas of small animal reconstructive surgery. 2nd edn. pp 57-59.
  • Hardie E M (1996) General abdominal surgery. In: Complications in small animal surgery. Lipowitz, Caywood, Newton, and Schwartz. pp 333-336.


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