Liposuction Drainage

I have an appt scheduled in late Jan to get liposuction on my abs and flanks done, then soon after I'll be going back for my inner and outer thighs...I am past being worried about the pain (thanks to all of these informational posts) I am now concerned with the drainage.

Can someone tell me what to expect? Is there a lot of fluid? How often do you have to change the dressing?

Doctor Answers (11)

Liposuction drainage.

+2

After liposuction there usually is a significant amount of drainage through the incisions. A drain can be used for a few days in certain areas and this will help but you will not feel clean for several days after this type of surgery because you cannot prevent the drainage if the liposuction surgery was of any significant amount.

If a Doctor does liposuction only in the office and never has much drainage they probable are not doing a Liposuction Surgery that would give a significant improvement  


Arlington Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Most drainage occurs during the first 2 days

+2

Drainage after liposuction is very normal after liposuction and is usually heaviest for the first 2 days after the procedure.  It usually stops by the 4th or 5th day.  The drainage is just extra fluid that was injected into the fat at the beginning of surgery that wasn't suctioned out during the liposuction procedure.  The drainage should be cranberry colored.  Seek medical attention if the color turns to a deep red. 

Lawrence A. Osman, MD
Woodland Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Liposuction Drainage

+1

In my experience, drainage from liposuction stops after two days. You may have to change your soaked dressings a times during your drainage period. The fluid that drains out is a combination of residual tumescent solution with a slight amount of blood.

Your surgeon can choose to stitch the holes and you will not have any drainage.

On the other hand, you may have prolonged swelling and bruising.

Ivan Thomas, MD (retired)
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

You might also like...

Recovery after liposuction

+1

Liposuction is a safe, popular, and effective way to contour the body. Patients should be aware of the recovery process after liposuction. Immediately after the surgery, they will experience a moderate amount of pain, swelling, and bruising. In our practice, we provide every patient with a special compression garment that helps decrease the swelling and provide support for the patient to increase their comfort. Most patients statement that the first two days after liposuction are the most uncomfortable and they can return to work shortly after that.

Immediately after liposuction, you should expect to have a small amount of pink fluid drainage from the liposuction incisions. This is completely normal and will stop in 2 to 3 days.
 

Pat Pazmino, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Liposuction and drainage

+1

Liposuction can certainly be performed on all these areas in one setting.  Second, the pain after surgery varies. Some patients state that it feels like a tough workout soreness.  As for drainage, there is often some drainage from the port sites even when they are closed with sutures.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Lipo drainage varies depending upon the technique

+1

Hello,

Some doctors place more of the "tumescent fluid" in the area to be treated before the liposuction procedure than others. Some doctors leave the openings made to perform the surgery open and others close them. As long as the incisions are pretty small, it probably makes little difference in scarring. I prefer to "loosely close" the openings personally. I believe they heal better this way.

Depending upon the amount of fluid placed at surgery and whether or not the openings made at surgery are closed, drainage may occur over a day or several days.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Leaking Like a Sieve (Temporarily) Is Good

+1

Liposuction involves the infusion of dilute local anesthetic solution into the areas where fat removal is planned, usually in a volume at least equal to or greater than the volume of fat removal anticipated from that same area. This solution helps to make the procedure less painful, and to diminish the potential bleeding.

Once the fat has been suctioned, there is usually some residual dilute local anesthetic solution and a small amount of blood left in the tissues. This blood-tinged fluid leaks out from the liposuction incisions for the first 48 hours or so, after the procedure, like water being wrung out of a sponge. This is beneficial, since it is desirable not to have a collection of fluid (seroma) in the space where the fat was removed. For this reason, most surgeons use compression garments to limit the ability of fluid to accumulate, and also allow the fluid to drain.

The first few days can be a bit messy. I give patients lots of absorbent pads to catch the drainage, and two sets of compression garments, so that one can be washed while the other is in use. I encourage patients to wear loose garments like sweat suits that they might be willing to discard after the recovery period, and to cover their bedding and furniture until the drainage stops.

You may feel like you're leaking like a sieve, but it will be temporary, and it's a good thing.

Athleo Louis Cambre, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Drainage is good. It means extra fluid is not staying in your tissues.

+1

Hello Tarann, again,

Ther are several tiny incisions after liposuction, and they drip a little clear fluid when you move or stand up for about 48 hours. It's just a little messy.

I wonder why you are having the liposuction in two stages. Unless you are really, really big, liposuction of the abdomen, flanks, and inner and outer thighs is usually done all together.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Drainage after liposuction is temporary and it is not a big deal

+1

Patients drain bloody tinged fluid from the very small incisions after liposuction for about 8-48 hours. This is a good thing because, it lessens the bruising and the chance of fluid build-up under the skin.

We place absorbant dressing over all wounds, and we ask patients not to remove their dressings for two days, after which point there is no more draiange. They can shower regularly and wear a T-shirt under their compression garment.

S. Sean Younai, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

There is a lot of fluid that drains after liposuction but don't worry, it is normal

+1

If you are getting the tumescent liposuction with microcanulas then you are getting the most effective safe procedure. There are no suturing with this technique since the holes are so small.

The anesthetic fluid drains a lot for 2 days through these little holes and can leak 1-2 quarts of fluid which is good and which you want it to leak since the swelling goes down faster with the fluid leaking out.

We put nice big absorbant pads over the areas then the compression garment on top of that. You only change the pads once a day when you take off the garment and shower the next day and replace the pads and garment with a new set which we supply.

After usually 2 days then there is no dressings or leakage to worry about and patients are back to work. It is very easy and quick so don't worry. You will be just fine. I hope you have a great experience.

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 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.