Posted by: Maggie | 2003/03/05

Umbilical Hernia Surgery Dec.2002 - What now?

Dear Doc - Sorry to give you even more work but I had this umb. hernia op. in Dec. Since then, there has been a soft mass adjacent to the wound. A sonar scan revealed fluid. The surgeon said he would operate again but I since I had to see a Specialist Physician for other things I asked him about the lump. He suggested that I dont have it operated on for some time, hoping that my body would absorb the fluid eventually. He suggested that it could be tricky operating now because of the possibility of an infection being in the mass and that if opened it could go septic. He says I should rather wait another two or three months to see if the fluid has gone and for the scar tissue to knit before operating again to see what's going on in there.
I don't know who to believe. Should I be worrying about this? The mass area is still, after over two months, tender to the touch and I am aware of it most times. Any thoughts on this? Thanks.

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Our expert says:
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Maggie, I would go with what the physician said. If it’s just fluid it is called a seroma and it’s a fairly common complication after an operation. The fluid is just what’s left of a collection of blood and it can take more than 3 months to be absorbed. As long as you leave it in peace, nothing can happen. Opening it or sticking a needle in it may cause sepsis and that it something you definitely don’t want. If it doesn’t start going away within the next 2 months, you can always have it operated on – no harm done. Good luck.

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