Sclerotherapy for the treatment of postmastectomy seroma

Alyssa D. Throckmorton, Johanna Askegard-Giesmann, Tanya L. Hoskin, Haraldur Bjarnason, John H. Donohue, Judy C. Boughey, Amy C. Degnim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: Seroma is a common complication after mastectomy. We review our experience with sclerotherapy for postmastectomy seroma management. Methods: Patients who underwent outpatient sclerotherapy for postmastectomy seroma were reviewed. Ninety-five percent ethyl alcohol or povidone iodine, which was administered by way of percutaneous catheter, was the initial sclerosant, and dwell time was 20 to 30 minutes. Povidone iodine solution was instilled 2 to 3 times daily. Catheters were removed when output reached <30 mL/d or when cavity size was <20 ml by sinogram. Results: Sixteen patients (18 seromas) had sclerotherapy initiated at median of 34 days after surgery. Mean number of treatment days was 3 (median duration 16). Seven patients (44%) developed infection during treatment, which was associated with increased duration. Three seromas recurred and were successfully treated with single aspiration. Comments: Sclerotherapy is a feasible treatment for chronic seroma after mastectomy. Longer treatment duration was associated with infection; antibiotic prophylaxis should be considered. Research is necessary to determine optimal regimens and superiority over other approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-544
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • Breast cancer
  • Lymphocele
  • Mastectomy
  • Sclerotherapy
  • Seroma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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