I need to know what is the difference between the progressive tension method or drains?
What is the Progressive Tension Method? Drains or No Drains I'm Getting Confused, Which is Better?
Doctor Answers (4)
Benefits of progressive tension suture method for abdominoplasty
I have been using the PTS method for tummy tucks for almost 15 years and have found several benefits. The sutures are under the skin flap to anchor it down with even distribution of pulling. One of the first things I noted when I started using this technique was a dramatic decrease in the amount of fluid output in the drains, so that they could be removed in a couple of days instead of the usual week or so. Some surgeons do it without any drains at all but I still prefer them. Another benefit is that the scar can be kept low where it is more easily concealed, but without excess tension that can lead to a thickened scar.
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
You need to check before and after
There are many ways to perform abdominoplasty or tummy tuck, the most important factor is the results your surgeon will get, not the way he will obtain them. There is no scientific evidence showing any advantage in this techniques (applying to every surgeon), just anecdotal data, some surgeons citate big numbers when talking about the incidence of fluid collection (seroma) in abdominoplasty, however I believe this is related to the surgical technique more than to the use or not of drains or stitches, some surgeons have a minimal number of seromas without using this kind of techniques, so there is no reason for this surgeons to change their procedure. The most important factor in obtaining a good result in your cosmetic abdominoplasty is the surgeon you choose, when you talk to your surgeon have him showing before and after pictures and ask the office for patients you can call to discuss their experience with the surgery. When you find the surgeon that is right for you, you will know.
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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.