I posted about my check up yesterday. This morning the troubled spot will be left to heal. No more wet to dry dressings. YAY! It’s closing up nicely finally so that’s not an issue any more.
Now since I can’t seem to do anything half-ass-ed, while Dr. Guy was poking around on my back (and I mean that literally…poke…poke…poke) she discovered that the right side had a pretty massive seroma.
A seroma is a pocket of clear serous fluid that sometimes develops in the body after surgery. When small blood vessels are ruptured, blood plasma can seep out; inflammation caused by dying injured cells also contributes to the fluid.
This isn’t a threatening or serious condition, though it could potentially cause complications down the line. The fluid is that yellowish slightly sticky stuff that bubbles up when you scrape your knee before the scab forms. A good idea of what a seroma looks like is here: http://tinyurl.com/n8ne2
It is evident the bruising is the skin is also distended and there is a large, softball sized lump where the fluid has collected. I was unable to find a photo of a seroma on the back. With a Latissimus Flap breast reconstruction, seromas are VERY common. From what Dr. Guy said, basically the pocket it causes makes the skin separate from the muscle. Until the fluid is drained or reabsorbed back into the body, the skin cannot reattach itself to the muscle. Basically the right side of my back from below the shoulder blade to my waist and in towards my spine was one gigantic seroma.
After giving me a local anesthetic, Dr. Guy excised the fluid by sucking it out with a needle the size of a harpoon. At least that’s what it seemed like. Ken says it was only an inch or two long and pretty small in diameter.
The Doc removed 455ccs of fluid. That is very nearly half a liter of fluid. She showed Ken how to tell if it builds up again. Basically he has to poke my back. If it ripples like a waterbed, there’s a buildup of fluid.
I have another check up in two weeks. I’m really hoping there will be no more fluid build up. As usual I’ll keep you all posted.