Background: Seroma formation is common in patients with breast cancer after axillary dissection. Fibrin sealant, containing fibrinogen and thrombin, has been developed to improve wound healing. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the efficacy of fibrin sealants in reducing seroma among patients with breast cancer undergoing axillary dissection. Methods: We searched the PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library databases for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published up to April 2020. Pooled estimates of the outcomes were computed using a random-effects model. The primary outcomes were incidence and volume of seroma, while the secondary outcomes were volume and duration of drainage, incidence of infection, and length of hospital stay. Results: We reviewed 23 RCTs that included 1640 patients. Compared with the control group, the fibrin sealant group had no significant differences in the incidence of seroma, length of hospital stay, or incidence of surgical site infection. Significant intergroup differences were discovered in lower volume of seroma (weighted mean difference [WMD] − 71.88, 95% confidence interval [CI] − 135.58 to − 8.19), volume of drainage (WMD − 73.24, 95% CI − 107.32 to − 39.15), and duration of drainage (WMD − 0.84, 95% CI − 1.50 to − 0.19). Conclusions: Fibrin sealants provide limited benefits in reducing the volume of seroma and the volume and duration of drainage. Therefore, after shared decision making, surgeons may apply fibrin sealants to patients with breast cancer undergoing axillary dissection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5286-5295
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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