Tummy Tuck-No Drains!
The no drain-Tummy Tuck
Abdominoplasty surgery commonly known as “tummy tuck” has been and remains a popular cosmetic procedure. It is particularly popular among weight loss patients, and is the classic procedure for women in their late 30s or 40s who had children. The tummy tuck has evolved as a very effective and satisfactory procedure that will get rid of pregnancy related changes. Such changes include a protruding, sagging midsection, loose skin and separation of the rectus muscle from childbirth. When combined with liposuction and the repair of the diastasis recti muscle (the separation of the muscles in the mid-section of the abdomen), a tummy tuck is the treatment of choice.
Today, the approach to abdominoplasty or tummy tuck has evolved from the traditional one. Patients can now choose between a mini-tummy tuck, lower tummy tuck, or full tummy tuck with or without liposuction. In a traditional tummy tuck, the surgeon will typically use drains post operatively to prevent fluid from accumulating in the space that he created underneath the skin and fat and above the muscle. “The drains were behind most of my patient’s complaints the day after and week following their surgery from pain and irritation at the drain site to problems with showering and moving”.
I have been able to achieved great success and excellent results by introducing the “no drain” tummy tuck with the use of a progressive tension sutures (PTS) technique to my patients. Some surgeons find that the technique takes longer in surgery and requires a learning curve. “This may be the case in the beginning, but I now have mastered the technique and no longer use drains on my patients. The increase in time is marginal once you perfect the technique and the results are well worth it. Not only does the technique eliminate the need for drains but it has been credited with a wide range of benefits. Using progressive tension sutures helps reduce the incidence of complications such as the formation of seromas and hematomas. I believe that PTS allows me to better define the abdominal contour of my tummy tuck patients giving them more of a “six pack” appearance in my final result. The technique also allows for a lower scar line, which is optimal for patients desiring that low cut bikini. Since the progressive tension sutures technique reduces the tension on the wound, the risk of hypertrophic scarring is decreased as well. More importantly, the technique has a very positive impact on the patient’s psyche postoperatively. Patients are happier, more comfortable and can move around without the nuisance and limitations of the drains.
I have been able to get great results incorporating progressive tension sutures into my tummy tuck procedures, and have completely abandoned the use of drain tubes during my tummy tucks. My patients report positive results and better speedier recovery. I also do a preferred combination lipo-sculpture-tummy tuck procedure for the majority of my patients I combine liposuction -in particular of the midriff area- to the tummy tuck. By eliminating muffin tops and back fat with liposuction, while at the same time tightening the lower abdominal skin with the tummy tuck, I avoid the flat and wide look result of a tummy tuck alone. As an artist, it is my duty to my patients to make them look better, not just flatter.
-Dr. Ayman Hakki