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Is It Normal for Drain to Pull out Large Blood Clots During Tummy Tuck Recovery?

I am 5 days PO and I have notice large blood clots drain into my tube. They are so big that I can not get them out. I really am surprise that the drain has pull them. Should I be alarm?

Doctor Answers (10)

Drains after mommy makeover


What you are describing happens to most patients.  They are usually a combination of blood and tissue that the drain is trying to expel.  Ask your plastic surgeon how to strip the drains,  and this will help to push them out into the bulb at the end. I hope this helps you.

Kindest regards,

Neil J. Zemmel

Richmond Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Clots in drain are normal


Thanks for your question. Clots are definitely normal. As long as the output is not going up and your abdomen has a normal contour then it is likely okay. Let your surgeon take a look if you are concerned. Best of Luck!

M. Scott Haydon, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Blood clots in drains


It is very common for there to be large clots in the drains in the first few days post-op from a tummy tuck.  The key is to make sure that the overall output is not too high and that you are keeping your surgeon updated on the output.  If all else is well, I would not be concerned.

Sacha Obaid, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

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Clots forming in drains after tummy tucks


Hello. After a tummy tuck it is common to have clots in your drains. The only possible problem with clots is that they can occlude the tubing making the drains ineffective. Ask your doctor how to clean the tubing if they are not functioning correctly. With a new method of doing tummy tucks drains are usually left for five to seven days instead of the usual ten to fifteen days and should drain less but it is not uncommon for clots to form.

Jaime Perez, MD
Mommy Makeover Specialist
Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Clots or semi-solid tissue in drains is common



Thank you for the question.  What you are describing sounds like the normal semi-solid tissue that is commonly seen in drain tubes.  The body produces healing fluid that has many different types of cells and as these clump together they form the strands of semi-solid tissue that you are describing.  Keep stripping the drain tube as you have been instructed and you should be fine.  Checking in with your plastic surgeon to have him/her verify your description is also a good idea.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Large Blood Clots from Drains


It is quite common for there to be blood in the drains, and typically early on it is clotted blood. So long as the drain is still fuctioning, there is no concern. If you don't know how to "strip and seal" the drain tubes, call your surgeon for instructions. 

Best wishes. 

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

Clots in Drain after Tummy Tuck


Time to time large clots can travel through the drain.  This is not a problem usually.  Make your surgeon aware of your concerns.

Dr. ES

Earl Stephenson, Jr., MD, DDS
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Concern regarding clots of blood coming through drain following a tummy tuck


It is very common to see clotted blood coming through the drains following a tummy tuck. The only real significant issue that they can present is that occasionally they can cause occlusion of the tubing, preventing fluid from draining. This can usually be remedied by stripping the tubing which your doctor can explain to you and show you.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Not unusual to have blood clots in the drainage tube following an abdominoplasty


Do not be surprised if you see clotted blood in the drainage tube.  This is perfectly normal.  It helps to milk the tube to help get the clot out of the tube an into the bulb.  You may need to call your plastic surgeons office for advice on how to perform this milking procedure.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Blood Clots in Drain after Tummy Tuck


   The drains should be functional to help fluid egress from the surgical site.  If clots are building up in the tubing, you should make sure you are stripping the drains every couple of hours.   To strip a drain, grasp the tube near the drain stitch with one hand and squeeze the tube with the other until you get to the bulb. 

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 180 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.