Tummy Tuck Without Drainage Tubes

i'm 38yrs.old, 2children 14&12. would tummy tuck harm tubal ligation?  Is there a tummy tuck available without drainage tubes?

Doctor Answers 23

Tummy Tuck yes, drains no

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I have not used a drain in a tummy tuck for 10 years, or needed to open a wound for bleeding/fluid during that time.  Drains are not fully effective in preventing fluid collections, they act as a potential path for bacteria to enter the wound, can be accidently pulled out too early, they are a nuisance for patients and may limit mobility after surgery. 

Progressive tension sutures do add some time to the surgery, and can make surgery a bit more painful, but have several advantages beyond preventing large fluid collections.  They give the surgeon the ability to pull the flap down across the wound and thus allow the final wound edge approximation to be performed without tension (less scarring), and with a final scar height that is lower on the abdomen and easier to hide in a bikini.

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Tummy tuck without drains is possible

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As mentioned, the technique you are referring to is called Progressive Tension Sutures.  In the right patient, drains may not be necessary.  I have done this several times with great success.  Other times, I use one drain instead of two just to be on the safe side.  Either way, you shouldn't be afraid of drains.  They are only a small inconvenience and are usually removed within 5-7 days following surgery.  Good luck!


Dr. Singer

Elan B. Singer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Tummy tuck without drain tubes

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Yes, tummy tuck can be done without using drain tubes.   It is surgeons' preference.  Progressive tension suture method can eliminate the need for drain placement; however, it is more painful than tummy tuck with drains.  Tummy tuck does not hurt tubal ligation as tummy tuck does not involve going intraabdominal space where fallopian tubes lie.

TummyTuck without drains

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It is safe to perform a tummy tuck without drain, provided care is taken to prevent a seroma formation through a tight closure of the tummy tuck area.  We have not used drains on our patients in almost two years since we started using a new closure technique and we have not had any problems.  We are very happy with this as our patients love not having drains.


Martin Jugenburg, MD

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 517 reviews

Drainage Tubes with Tummy Tuck

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I always place drains at the time of a tummy tuck.  I feel that they may a bit of a nuisance but that they are well worth it.  They are not particularly painful and do require keeping a record of the amount of drainage.  I think they are useful even if progressive tension sutures or quilting sutures are placed.  As far as your previous BTL is concerned, the tummy tuck will not harm that nor make you fertile.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Tummy Tuck without drains....not a great idea....

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it is possible to do a tummy tuck without the use of drains, but when a pain pump is added they are really a must. The fluid put in by the pain pump can pool as can the fluid produced by the wound and this can affect the quality of the results. Why take the chance? The pain pump really minimizes pain from the surgery and the drains ....and although they are not a fan favorite, they are less bothersome than they were before pain pumps were added to the mix.


Best Regards,


John Di Saia MD

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon

Tummy Tuck without Drains

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Dear Fayetteville9231,

The short answer is that, yes, it is possible to have a tummy tuck without drains.  Drains are, in fact, a little annoying.

But the question is why would any surgeons then use drains?  And the answer is that if some fluid accumulates beneath the tissues (we're talking blood, serous fluid, etc) it can become infected and many if not most surgeons prefer to leave some sort of drains in place for up to a week or so to help the fluid come out.  It's not THAT bad (I know, easy for me to say) and it does assist in getting that fluid out.

Of course, there are other surgeons who are comfortable doing this procedure without drains in selected cases, or even routinely.  I don't know what their criteria are for doing the procedure without drains but I generally use them for a tummy tuck and would not be comfortable, in general, not using them.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

Author of BodySculpture, EyeScapes, Restylane and The Slim Book of Liposuction

No-drain tube abdominoplasty

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The technique that you are asking about is called the Progressive Tension Suture method, which I have been using for more than 12 years. I do still use drains on some patients but some proponents of it believe it isn't ever necessary. Dr. Pollock in Dallas is the pioneer of the procedure. It won't have any efefct on the tubal ligation.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Tummy tuck without drains

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A tummy tuck will not interfere with a tubal ligation and there are techniques that do not use drains.  It is actually rare in our practice to use a drain after a tummy tuck.  We use sutures between the muscle layer and the fat layer to close off the space where the drains are normally placed.  Some surgeons are comfortable with this method and do it that way and some prefer to use drains.  Good luck with your procedure.

Byron D. Poindexter, MD
Reston Plastic Surgeon

No DrainTummy Tuck

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Thank you for your question. Yes, Abdominoplasties can be preformed without drains. 

Surgical drains are awkward, irritating and very uncomfortable. They are always a worrisome part of abdominoplasty surgery for patients and produces lots of anxiety in patients. One reason that surgical drains are such a nuisance is that they make normal, everyday activities extremely difficult to perform such as: One reason that surgical drains are such a nuisance is that they make normal, everyday activities extremely difficult to perform such as: getting dressed, walking and showering. This can result into a longer recovery process. Another thing that patients worry about is the pain associated with pulling the drainage tubes out; drains are generally used in surgery to stop fluid from accumulating between tissue planes.

During a tummy tuck surgery, there is space between the abdominal wall and the overlying fat and skin (the abdominal flap). The body will do what it usually does during the healing process, produce fluid, if nothing is done to close this space. Because there is nothing to confine the fluid from accumulating, a seroma can develop in this space. In other words, the tissue produces fluid more quickly than it can reabsorb.

Negative suction drains are placed in spaces like this to get rid of the fluid and create suction between the tissue planes. There is a way, however, to eliminate this space without using uncomfortable drainage tubes. Utilizing progressive tension sutures inside the tissues to close off the space and relieve tension on the last surgical closure. This results into less pain, less discomfort and less tension. Also, there will be better scarring with potentially minimizes infection risk.

We have successfully used progressive tension sutures during abdominoplasty instead of surgical drains, with a lower seroma rate than is generally thought to occur with tummy tucks and drains. With this method, the seroma rate is close to zero and you cannot beat that approach. Best of luck!

Dhaval M. Patel 

Double board certified 

Plastic surgeon 

Hoffman Estates 




Dhaval M. Patel, MD
Hoffman Estates Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 100 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.