What is the Drain Free Method for a Mommy Makeover and What Are the Benefits??

What is the Drain Free Method for a Mommy Makeover and What Are the Benefits??

Doctor Answers (7)

Mommy Makeover without drains


Drain free mommy makeover is the newest way of performing this operation without the inconvenience of having to have drains after surgery. One of the biggest problems after the tummy tuck portion of the mommy makeover is the development of a seroma. A seroma is a collection of fluid which occurs in a tummy tuck because the open area associated with this procedure. To prevent the collection of fluid, called a seroma, drains are left in place after surgery to collect the excess fluid. When drains are used, they often need to stay in place for several days to weeks. This is very inconvenient. 

With the drain free technique, the open area is sutured close with sutures called quilting stitches. Without an open area  excess tissue fluid has no where to collect. This actually prevents seromas from occurring so drains are not necessary. 

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Drain free method for Mommy Makeover, (Abdominoplasty). Upside and Downside


The Mommy Makeover usually consists of Breast Lift and/or Augmentation along with an Abdominoplasty (Tummy tuck).  As with all surgery, different surgeons have different techniques.  The non drain tummy tuck consists of using quilting sutures to obliterate dead space as you go.  One obliterates dead space so that the patient does not get a seroma.  A seroma is a collection of fluid.  This is the reason that most surgeons place drains so as to get the serum out of the operative area until the body can scar down and obliterate the dead space.  The down side of the quilting techniques is that sometimes there will be a pleating of the soft tissue.  Best to talk with your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.  Together you will make the best decision for you.

Jeffrey Roth, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Drains are not necessary for tummy tuck


 Swelling occurs after any surgery, it is only a clinical problem if it is allowed to accumulate. Sutures can be placed at the time of surgery that will eliminate the space where fluid would accumulate making the drains unnecessary. I have not used a drain tube for a tummy tuck procedure in more than 7 years. Aside from being a painful nuisance, drain tubes can be a source of infection and swelling can accumulate after the drains are removed.

Mark Preston, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

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Mommy make over without drains


Seems to be a lot of fuss over this, but we have not used drains for tummy tuck and mommy make over for many years now. None of this is new, and the drains are not needed, really. The benefits are a better recovery and experience. Nothing like tubes sticking out to spoil the transition.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Mommy makeover technique without drains


Mommy makeovers usually involve some sort of abdominal contouring procedure (abdominoplasty).  Some techniques make use of "quilting" sutures to obliterate dead space.  This technique usually obviates the need for drains, but the quilting sutures can cause abdominal skin tethering which might interfere with normal contours. 


So: pros and cons of drain vs. no drain technique depend really on the surgeon's experience.  Drains are more common and are slightly less comfortable; quilting techniques avoid the drain but can cause minor contour problems.

Daniel Greenwald, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Drains are not always required


Drains are used for various surgeries to remove fluid from the surgical site or to seal off spaces.  It is frequently used in tummy tucks, some breast surgeries, and other cosmetic procedures.  There are times when a "mommy makeover" consisting of breast and abdominal surgery does not require drains.

The benefit is that without drains, there is no maintenance and subsequent removal of the drains. I hope this helps


Mitchell F. Grasseschi, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

No drains on a Mommy Makeover, is there a benefit?


The drain free method for a mommy makeover utilizes stitches to decrease the dead space that is created with surgery. I can see where some people would prefer this as post-op drains are not the most pleasant situation, but I always remove mine a 1 week and feel that the reward is worth the benefit. This includes decreased swelling and bruising. The benefits are obvious, not having a drain, but if fluid does accumulate after surgery then it will need to be drained, that is the downfall.

Jonathan Weiler, MD
Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 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.