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July 1997

Prevention of Seromas and Hematomas After Face-lift Surgery With the Use of Postoperative Vacuum Drains

Author Affiliations

From the Meridian Facial Plastic Surgery Center, Indianapolis, Ind.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1997;123(7):743-745. doi:10.1001/archotol.1997.01900070087014

Objective:  To evaluate the rate of hematoma and seroma formation in a series of rhytidectomies performed with and without the use of intrawound vacuum drains.

Design:  Retrospective chart review of 222 consecutive face-lifts performed by a single surgeon using an identical surgical technique before and after the use of vacuum wound drains. The patients were divided into 2 groups of 111 patients each. Group 1 patients underwent surgery without drains, while group 2 patients had suction drains placed at the time of surgery.

Main Outcome Measure:  The occurrence of seromas and hematomas within the first 24 hours after surgery.

Results:  In group 1, 41 patients (37%) developed seromas and 9 (8%) developed hematomas; the hematomas were small and were treated by aspiration alone. In group 2, 17 patients (15%) developed seromas and 8 (7%) developed hematomas. The decrease in the rate of seroma occurrence was statistically significant, while the decrease in hematoma formation did not reach statistical significance.

Conclusions:  The use of intrawound vacuum drains during the first 24 hours after surgery significantly decreases the rate of seroma formation. The occurrence of hematomas is also reduced, but less dramatically.Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1997;123:743-745