Managing late periprosthetic fluid collections (seroma) in patients with breast implants: a consensus panel recommendation and review of the literature

Plast Reconstr Surg. 2011 Jul;128(1):1-7. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e318217fdb0.


Background: The goal of this consensus is to establish an algorithm for the management of patients who develop a late or delayed periprosthetic fluid collection. A work group of practicing plastic surgeons and device industry physicians met periodically by teleconference and discussed issues pertinent to the diagnosis and management of late periprosthetic fluid collections in patients with breast implants. Based on these meetings, treatment recommendations and a treatment algorithm were prepared in association with an editorial assistant.

Method: The work group participants discussed optimal care approaches developed in their private practices and from evidence in the literature.

Results: The consensus algorithm and treatment and management recommendations represent the consensus of the group.

Conclusions: The group concluded that late periprosthetic fluid collection (arbitrarily defined as occurring ≥ 1 year after implant) is an infrequently reported occurrence (0.1 percent) after breast implant surgery and that, at a minimum, management should include clinically indicated ultrasound-guided aspiration of fluid, with appropriate cultures and cytologic testing. Further evaluation and additional treatment is recommended for recurrence of periprosthetic fluid collection after aspiration, or clinical suspicion of infection or neoplasia.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Practice Guideline
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Breast Implants / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Seroma / diagnosis*
  • Seroma / etiology
  • Seroma / therapy*
  • Time Factors