Tummy tucks and drains
Whether getting a mini-tummy tuck or complete tummy tuck you will likely have drains. When I perform mini-tummy tucks I usually use one drain, and two drains in a complete tummy tuck. The drains help remove excess fluid throughout the healing process.
A natural part of the healing process includes your body producing a little fluid. Your body is also able to reabsorb some fluid, but in the beginning there is more than your body can handle. The drains help remove that fluid. In most cases, the first drain (when two are used) can be removed in about one week. The second drain is usually removed between the first and second week. The same 1-2 week period applies when only one drain is placed. If there is more fluid than average draining into the drains they may need to stay longer. The important thing is that they are removed when your body is able to handle things on its own.
I hope this info helps!
Tummy tuck drains
Often, after a tummy tuck is performed there are drains needed. On ocassion, a mini tummy tuck will not require a drain at all but this is for a tiny thin patient who has not had babies before (usually, but there are some genetic exceptions).
With that, the drains are typically dry within a week. When they come out, the office nurse clips the suture and the drain literally falls out. They keep draining for a couple of days, just a few drops and then they dry up. The little mark over the course of a few months should become invisible. By then, you likely have started a silicone and steroid cream of some sort that will make it go away even quicker.
Drains stay as long as needed.
If there is almost nothing draining after 1 week, we take both out. If there is a small amount, we take the one out with the less drainage and the other comes out a few days or 1 week later. If there is still a lot draining we leave the second drain in till it has almost nothing, but that is a rare occurrence.
How long do Drains stay in for Tummy Tuck?
#TummyTuckDrains timing for removal varies from surgeon to surgeon. One to two weeks is the usual time for my patients for drains to be left in place and are generally removed when they drain less than 30 cc per 24 hours. If a lot of liposuction is done at the same time, it may take a bit longer.
What is Average Time for Drains to Stay in After Tummy Tuck?
Drains stay on for an average of 7 to 10 days. We look for less than 25cc of fluid being drained within an 48 hour period to determine if the drains are ready to be removed. Your body will continue producing fluid but the small amount is easily reabsorbed by the body. Thank you for your question.
Drains are usually removed 1-2 weeks after surgery
Everyone's body responds differently to the stress of surgery, but everyone's body produces fluid in the area treated by surgery after abdominoplasty. Technical details of the surgery, including whether liposuction is performed, impact much fluid is produced. Fluid production usually peaks 2-3 days after surgery and improves thereafter. Often drains are removed within a week of surgery, but may persist for longer depending on the individual.
Changes in Abdominoplasties Eliminate the Need For Drains
This is a great example of how medicine changes to improve patient care, and why attending national meetings is of great benefit. Drains after tummy tucks used to be required. I used them in my practice for many, many years.
But modifications in how I, and many other plastic surgeons, do the procedure now eliminate the need for them. I explain more in the video.
Depends on the patient
We typically use three drains because it results in fewer complications in the long term. The first drain typically comes out at 7 days, the second at 9 days, and the third at 14 days. This minimizes the chance that will be a hemotma or seroma as things heal. However, this all depends on the amount of drainage you have.
Drains Typically Left in for 7-14 Days
are frequently used in the post-operative period in abdominoplasty patients to
minimize the potential for seroma formation. Drains are typically left in place for 7-14 days following
surgery. They are usually removed
when drainage drops below 25cc per 24 hour period.
management of surgical drainage varies from patient to patient. Each patient has unique surgical
anatomy and surgical procedures are modified for each individual patient for
these reasons. In addition each
surgeon has his own drain protocols.
In some patients, drainage may persist for longer periods of time,
especially if patients are physically active. When drains are removed to early, there may be an increased
complication rate. This might
result in seroma formation which requires multiple aspirations or replacement
of the drain. Although drains seem
to be a major nuisance, they serve a very important function in most
Drains After Tummy Tuck
When used (as they aren't always necessary) both drains are usually removed within 2 weeks. Occasionally, they need to be left in longer.