I am having breast augmentation, a tummy tuck, and liposuction.
How Long Should I Expect to Have Surgical Drains After Mommy Makeover Surgery?
Doctor Answers (30)
Drains and Tummy Tucks
More recently, 'drain free' surgery has become more popular. Fat layer is sutured down to the muscle layer starting at the ribs and progressively down to the lower incision. This makes the space for the fluid to collect much smaller, and in many patients can have surgery without drains. However, I have seen multiple patients come from other surgeons because they developed a seroma despite the suturing of the tissue. This is not the surgeon's fault, but some patients just do not heal fast enough or put out too much fluid for the body to absorb.
Pablo Prichard, MD
Drains Are Used Following a Tummy Tuck & are Usually Left in Place for 7-14 Days Following Surgery
Drains are frequently used in the post-operative period in mommy makeover patients to minimize the potential for seroma formation. Drains are typically not used with breast surgery, but are used after abdominoplasty. Drains are usually left in place for 7 to 14 days following surgery. They are usually removed when drainage drops below 25cc per 24 hours.
The 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. Patients are usually eager to get their drains removed and sometimes pressure their surgeon to remove them. When drains are removed to early, there may be an increased complication rate. This might result in seroma formations with resultant infection and wound breakdown. Under these circumstances seromas may require multiple aspirations or replacement of the drain. Although drains seem to be a major nuisance, they serve as a very important function in most mommy makeover patients.
Drains after mommy makeover
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Drains after tummy tuck
I also like to use a pain pump. This infuses local anesthetic onto the abdominal wall and can help with some early postoperative pain. This is removed within the first week.
Drains after surgery
Drains after mommy makeover
I tell my abdominoplasty patients to expect to have their drains in place for at least a week. Typically the decision to remove drains is not dogmatic and based on an arbitrary time schedule, rather it is based upon how much fluid is draining out of them. Classically we like to see 30 cc or less per drain per 24 hours before removal. Sometimes liposuction with tummy tuck can increase the drainage and hence the time that the drains will stay in place.
I don't usually use any drains following a mommy make over surgery.
I have never used drains following breast surgery but over the past two years I have stopped using drains following abdominal surgery also. I believe the patients are much happier now not having to deal with emptying them and carrying them around. I believe my seroma rates have been lower now that I have stopped using drains.
I do not use drains for breast lifts or breast augmentation. I use drains for the tummy tucks. They usually stay for about 3-7 days.
Mommy Makeover Drains from the Tummy Tuck Removed Usually by Day 3
Thank you for your question. Drains are rarely used in the Breast after Breast Augmnetation or Breast Lift.
Typically drains are used after the Tummy Tuck Portion of the Mommy Makeover. Most plastic Surgeons leave drains in until less than 25 cc (less than an ounce) of fluid comes out of each drain in a 24 hour period.
In some people this is one day and others can take longer if there is a lot of fluid coming out. An average is about 3 days.
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.