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How Much Fluid Should Be Draining After Tummy Tuck?

I had my tummy tuck yesterday morning. I have not had to empty the drains as often as I imagined I would. From 8:30 - 7pm In both drains was 50mL (day after surgery) Is this too little?

Doctor Answers (11)

Drain output 1 day after tummy tuck

+2

As my colleagues have suggested, there is great variability in the amount of fluid that comes out over 24 hrs in each drain.  This amount can also vary based on your activity level later.   Please follow your surgeon's drain care instructions.  I recommend stripping each drain and recording each drain's output 2x a day in mLs.   Most surgeons also recommend compressive therapy (i.e. abdominal binder or garment) after surgery.  So don't worry about the amount of drain output - it varies.

Web reference: http://www.basuplasticsurgery.com

Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Drain fluid after abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)

+2
Drainage tubes are important after abdominoplasty surgery to remove fluid- output can be variable, from 20 ml to 200 or 300 ml per day. This depends on how extensive your surgery was as well as the technique that was used - different methods can minimize drainage. Drain output may be on the higher side if liposuction was done since the "tumescent" fluid that is injected into the fatty layer is not all suctioned out during surgery, so this residual fluid will come out of the drains as well. It is important to keep the drains in until the output has decreased to a certain volume- my rule of thumb is to remove drains when the output is less than 30 ml over a 24 hour period. A little pearl: since skin irritation at the drain sites is common, lidoderm patches (have numbing medicine impregnated into the patches) can help with discomfort.
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Drainage after Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

+1

Every patient is different regarding how much drainage there is after abdominoplasty (tummy-tuck) and this can also be infuenced by whether or not liposuction was done at the same time.  It sounds like your drainage is right on track and as long as the fluid remains mostly clear with just a hint of red or pink and continues to decrease over time.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Drains after a tummy tuck

+1

The drainage after a tummy tuck is quite variable, and most will have an experience similar to yours with very little output. We do not use drains any longer in tummy tuck, and if the output remains low your surgeon may be encouraged to remove them earlier.

Best of luck,

peterejohnsonmd

Web reference: http://www.peterejohnsonmd.com/tummy-tuck

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Fluid from drainage tubes after tummy tuck

+1

Dear newairbags,

The volume of drainage after a tummy tuck can be quite variable. The amount you have is well within the normal range. Having a lower output generally means that your drains will come out sooner rather than later. That is a good thing. Good luck.

Best regards,

Lawrence Tong MD FACS FRCSC

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Drainage expectations following a tummy tuck

+1

There is so much variability of drainage following a tummy tuck. The amount that you have had within the first 24 hours is well within normal limits. So don't worry! I have found some patients beig able to have their drains removed within the 1st week; others can take 4 weeks or longer.

Web reference: http://www.turkeltaub.com

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Drainage Volume After Tummy Tuck

+1

There is a good bit of variation on the amount of drainage following tummy tucks.  The fact that your drains have put out 50cc indicates that they are functioning properly.  Even though your output is a bit on the low side, I would not be overly concerned.

Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Drainage after a TT

+1

That's great!  Your drainage is normal or perhaps a little low.  You probably won't get a seroma and your drains will come out sooner than someone with more drainage.  I have had patients who drained as much as 400 cc a day.  Too much activity can increase drainage and don't be in a rush to get those drains out.  30 cc in a 24 hour period is what I look for.  Just relax and think positively.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Drainage after a tummy tuck

+1

The drainage that you have out of your drains froma tummy tuck is not alot, and that is a good sign.  I usually remove them when they are under 30 cc for a 24 hour period. 

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Tummy Tuck Fluid

+1

This is normal.  The amount of fluid will vary day to day and gradually reduce.  The amount may fluctuate depending on your activity and if liposuction was performed.  It is important not to remove them to early.

Web reference: http://www.sanfranciscocosmetic-surgery.com/

San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.