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Should I be concerned with the way my drain site is healing? (photo)

I had my drains in for 11 days and they were taken out 8 days ago.. the right drain site is closing pretty nice.. as for the left as you can see in the picture is still draining and does not seem to be closing up as well.. also next to my left drain site are a bunch of tiny incisions opening with stitches poking out....is this common? should I just keep treating as been doing with neosporn and covering with gauze?

Doctor Answers (6)

Drain site healing

+2
Thank you for writing and sending photos. What you are experiencing is not unusual. You have a few areas of slow healing with a reaction to the suture material. The openings at the drain sites will close on their own. It is not unusual to have some drainage. It will be important to keep all of your post operative appointments and follow your surgeon's instructions for wound/scar care.  


San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Drain site not closed after eight days.

+2
Leakage of fluid following drain removal usually stops 24-48 hours after the drain is removed.  Although, it is not unusual for the site to drain longer.  It is better to have the fluid drain out, than to stay inside your body.  If the drain sites closes and the body continues to produce more fluid than can be absorbed, a pocket of fluid may form, called a seroma.  In this case, it is recommended the fluid be aspirated with the goal of keeping the abdomen flat with resolution of the fluid pocket.  Your incision looks irritated as does the skin surrounding the sutures.  I recommend your doctor assess.  Your clothes or garmet could be irritating or if you are applying Bacitracin ointment, this could cause irritation.  You may call my office with any further questions.
Thank you

Nana Mizuguchi, MD
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Drain site healing

+2
Most of the incision has healed quite well. The small areas of concern do not appear infected, but there is some slight breakdown of the skin with "spitting sutures". This will heal with just some time and minimal dressings. If there enough depth to the small wound, placing a very small piece of gauze moistened with saline might induce slightly faster healing. But if the wound is very shallow, a topical antibiotic ointment such as neosporin is more than adequate. Expect the area to take another few weeks to heal over and then about 6 months for the coloration to fade.

These drain site issues and other irritations with tummy tuck surgery can be limited or eliminated by completing the surgery without the use of drains. By using a technique called progressive tension sutures, the need for drains with tummy tucks is virtually eliminated. In addition to the obvious benefit of not having to walk around with tubes attached to your abdomen, the technique offsets the tension on the scar which lends to better scarring. It also allows patients to shower more quickly, wear normal clothing more quickly, and actually lowers the risk for seroma fluid collection.  

William T. Stoeckel, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

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Drains in Tummy Tuck Surgery

+2
I would say things look about the way they often do at this point. Keeping drains in for 11 days is likely to cause some slow healing but it is better than the alternative of fluid buildup. For others reading this post who have not had surgery, you might consider finding a surgeon who does drainless tummy tucks.  Drainless tummy tuck uses a relatively new technique that eliminates the need for drains. 
Best,
Dr. Pyle

Jeremy Pyle, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Healing After A Tummy Tuck And Drain Removal

+2
Healing After A Tummy Tuck And Drain Removal

If there is no colored drainage or odor you are probably doing fine. Talk to your doctor and continue local care and call for any changes, fever, redness, drainage etc.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Should I be concerned with the way my drain site is healing?

+1
NO not common. Best to return to your surgeon for an IN PERSON follow up is it. So this issue can be treated and you become better informed.// 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 64 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.