11 Days Post-op and Still Draining 75-100mls of Dark Red Fluid. Shouldn't It Be Clear by Now?

I am 11 days post-op from an extended tummy tuck and I am still draining 75 to 100 mls of fluid a day and it is not anywhere close to clear it is still very dark red. Does this indicate that my internal incisions are not healed? Could it also mean that I have seromas? I am still very swollen. I am anxious to get my drain taken out but there hasn't been any decrease in the amount of fluid since day 5 post-op. What can I be doing to encourage my body to heal? Thanks Docs!

Doctor Answers 3


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After 11 days it's very normal to have drainage. In our practice we leave them in up too 2 weeks. Your surgeon should of informed you what you could and could not do to help with your healing process. In our practice we advice our patients not to do much for the first 3 weeks, no heavy lifting no prolong standing,only thing that is important is to keep your blood circulating.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Prolonged drainage after extended abdominoplasty

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Drainage is prolonged in extended tummy tucks and if it is also associated with extensive liposuction. Usually the drainage changes to a straw color in a few days postop, but if it is dark red it is more likely a hematoma that is disolving. As the body breaks up the blood clot, it also "pulls in" lots of fluid due to the osmotic pressure. This can explain the prolonged drainage. As long as the fluid coming out is not turbid (infected hematoma), you will be fine. It is important to talk and see your plastic surgeon about this. He/she is best to judge what is exactly going on. Good luck.

Draining possible hematoma from tummy tuck

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The weight loss patient (extended tummy tucks are usually done in this situation) typically drains longer and just needs to wait it out.  But dark drainage looking like oil in color indicates old blood dissolving and coming out the drain as would happen if you had some amount of hematoma.  Nothing you can do will speed this resolution, just stay close to your surgeon through the process.

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.