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Drains Removed the Day After Tummy Tuck Surgery?

I am 7 weeks and 3 days after a tummy tuck with lipo to hips.i am still really swollen.i have had fluid aspirated 4 times with a total of 750ml.i have a little wound breakdown on scar above pubic bones.which is still leaking fluid.i want to no.was my drain removed too early.i came out of theatre 6 45pm and my drains was removed the next day at 4.00pm. Also will by abdomin ever go flat and are my hips still swollen of the my surgeon has said it is fat that i have pit on since my operation

Doctor Answers (5)

Timing of drain removal


is at the discretion of your surgeon as we all have different criteria at when to remove a drain.  Unfortunately, you are having to deal with seromas or fluid collections and realize there will be an end to that someday.  And as you heal, your swelling will go down.  Your final results will not show itself for several months.  You need to maintain your weight where it is and trust your surgeon to do the best for you as he/she is just as motivated as you are for the best result possible.

Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Swelling and fluid after tummy tuck


There are several different techniques for abdominoplasty or tummy tuck.  Some surgeons will use additional "quiliting" sutures on the inside to close the potential space created by surgery.  In that case, the surgeon may not place a drain at all.  With that said, I continue to use drains because I feel that it decreases the initial swelling and lowers the likelihood that a fluid collection will develop.  However, some patients still develop fluid collections even when the drains are left in place for a week or longer.  Fluid aspiration is then necessary and it sound like you have had this several times.  The good news is that the fluid will eventually resolve but you have to be patient.  With respect to your "not so flat abdomen," this is likely swelling which is may worse by your fluid collection.  It takes months for all of the swelling to disappear even if you don't have a fluid collection.  Good luck and heal quickly.

Paul B. Mills, MD
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Fluid Collection after Tummy Tuck


Drains are usually removed based on output.  It is unusual to remove the drains at 1 day postop as they are usually kept in place for 7-10 days.    Some doctors will place quilting sutures to help the skin flap seal to the abdominal wall faster.  I would recommend an ultrasound to assess for possible seroma.  I wish you a safe recovery.

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

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Drains Removed the Day After Tummy Tuck Surgery?


Thanks for your question, but there is really not enough info to offer a proper answer. What I would want to know is how much drainage there was during that first day.

There are a number of surgeons who do not use drains at all, and claim not to have any higher a rate of fluid collection than do surgeons who use drains. 

Most of us who regularly use drains have some threshold amount at which time we remove the drains. For me, that is 30 cc for a day. 

Photos would be helpful (before surgery and now) to answer the question about flatness.

All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Drain removal after tummy tuck


Depending on patients' drain output,  I remove drains.  Most patients have drains for 1-2 weeks.  Having the drain removed one day after surgery and requiring multiple aspirations indicate that your drain might have come out too soon.  It does take 2-3 months for swelling to go down.  You do want to make sure that your swelling is not due to fluid collection (seroma) in your abdomen. 

Sugene Kim, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

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