15 Days and Large Increase in Fluid Output of Tummy Tuck Drains?

Day 15 of recovery. Initially, doctor said drains would be in for 7-10 days. Stomach was sutured (separation from pregnancy hernia), belly button moved, tummy tuck,extensive lipo (this was not planned, lipo was supposed to be minimal). Fluid has been light red to very dark red/brown from day one. Today the right drain increased from an average of 13cc to 47cc. Total output in 24hr =74cc. Normally, 45cc. Not overweight, easy job. Am fearful about the lack of progress with drains, very discouraged

Doctor Answers 5

Increase in Fluid Output

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I would not necessarily consider that a large increase, but rather normal variation. These pages are filled with postings about prolonged drainage, and this is not rare.

In addition to seeking advice on-line  more productive is to discuss the short term plan with your surgeon. Knowing what to expect, and knowing that this won't go on forever will be a relief.

Thanks for your question, best wishes. 

Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Higher Drain Output at Day 15 after Tummy Tuck

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         Do not be discouraged at this early stage, as some people require four weeks or so of drains before they can be safely removed.  A fluid collection could have shifted into the drainage area to temporarily increase output.  Not to worry.

Tummy Tuck Drains

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After a tummy tuck, drains are routinely placed to help remove the healing fluid that your body produces in the first few days post-op.  Depending upon the output from the drains, they are typically removed at 7-10 days.  Occasionally, the body will continue to produce a lot of this fluid and the drains may have to stay in longer (an additional week or more).  Hopefully your drain output will drop over the next week and nothing more will need to be done.  If it does not, your surgeon may consider injecting your tummy with a small amount of medicine such as doxycycline to help sclerose (scar down) the pocket in your tummy that is producing this fluid.  Good luck.

15 Days and Large Increase in Fluid Output of Tummy Tuck Drains

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Sometime that happens, the amount is no too much, I think it may be time to take to pull the drain, because the drain may be the cause of draining. 

Maria Cristina Picon, MD
Argentina Plastic Surgeon

Concerns about Drain Output after Tummy Tuck?

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Congratulations on having undergone the tummy tuck procedure.

Although I cannot provide you with precise advice online, you should be aware that in and of itself, drain out put fluctuation is not necessarily a major concern. In other words, it is not unusual for drains to have increased output depending on patient's movement, activity, change in position…

 However, a change in color or consistency of drain output may be a significant concern ( depending on the patient's overall condition).

 Of course, your plastic surgeon will be your best resource to advise and/or reassure you have to direct physical examination.

 Best wishes.

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.