Open Access Research article

Effects of local phenytoin on seroma formation after mastectomy and Axillary lymph node dissection: an experimental study on mice

Mehmet Eser1, Fırat Tutal1, Metin Kement1*, Selcuk Goktas1, Levent Kaptanoglu1, Mehmet Gökceimam1, Melin Ozgun Gecer2 and Huseyin Uzun1

Author affiliations

1 Department of General Surgery, Kartal Training and Research Hospital, Kartal, Istanbul, Turkey

2 Department of Pathology, Kartal Training and Research Hospital, Kartal, Istanbul, Turkey

For all author emails, please log on.

Citation and License

BMC Surgery 2012, 12:25  doi:10.1186/1471-2482-12-25

Published: 19 December 2012



Seroma formation is the most common complication after breast cancer surgery. It is an important complication since it prolongs therapy duration, increases cost, and negatively affects patient psychology. Currently, there is no widely accepted method that prevents seroma formation. We tried to investigate impact of local phenytoin application on seroma formation following an experimental mastectomy model created in rats.


Two groups including eight rats in each were randomized. Saline injection was applied in the first group, whereas 1% phenytoin was locally used in the second group. Ten days after the surgery, seroma formation and wound-healing processes were evaluated using histopathological and biochemical examinations.


Phenytoin significantly decreased seroma formation. Fibrosis was significantly increased and angiogenesis was significantly reduced in the phenytoin group (P < 0.05). Increased levels of macrophage and lymphocyte infiltration was detected in the control group (P < 0.05). No difference was detected between the groups in terms of necrosis, edema, congestion, and PNL (Polymorphonuclear leucocyte) and fibroblast infiltration.


Seroma formation-reducing effect of phenytoin might have occurred over its anti-inflammatory, anti-angiogenetic, and fibrosis augmenting effects.

Mastectomy; Lymph node dissection; Breast cancer