How long after TT do the drains come out? Is it proportional to the amount of drainage being expelled?

Doctor Answers 12

How long after TT do the drains come out? Is it proportional to the amount of drainage being expelled

Drain removal is totally dependent on the amount of drainage coming out. Removing the drains prematurely can make repeated needle aspirations required to remove the accumulated fluid.

Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Drains and Seromas after Tummy Tucks


I stopped using drains, which has virtually eliminated the occurrence of seromas after an abdominoplasty. The use of drains is unnecessary when the space is surgically eliminated with sutures. Those that still use drains are still basing their removal by output volume, which is antiquated as well. Studies have found that drains removed after 5 to 7 days regardless of output did just as well (had the same number of seromas) as those that had drains in substantially longer. 

Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

When are the drains removed after a tummy tuck?

Thanks for your questions.  You've got it right - for my patients, drains come out when the amount of drainage is less than 30 cc (1 oz) per day for 2 consecutive days.  This typically occurs at between 7-10 days, but can vary depending on each patient's specific anatomy, complexity of the procedure, level of activity, etc.  Hope that this helps!

Best wishes!

Dr. Brown

Daniel Brown, MD, FACS
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

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When do the drains come out on a Tummy Tuck?

Thank you for your question.  Drains are typically removed when there is less than 30cc in the drain for 24 hours.  In most cases, the first drain comes out by day 7 and the second drain by day 14.  Note that the drainage may increase after the first couple of days and the patient moves about more.  Each Board Certified Plastic Surgeon is different.  Best to share the goals with them, and together you will make a plan. 

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
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How long are drains in after TT

Thank you for your question. You are correct, it depends on the amount of drainage in a 24 hour period. The magic number that most plastic surgeons use is 30cc/day per drain.  In my practice, I place two drains for a tummy tuck. In most cases the first drain is taken out within the first week and the second one the following week. Please realize that some patients need the drains in a bit longer. The key is to leave it as long as we need to, they are serving a very important function. Thank you. Good luck, and please remember to choose an experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. 

Mehdi K. Mazaheri, MD
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How long after TT do the drains come out? Is it proportional to the amount of drainage being expelled?

Thank you for the question.

You will find that every surgeon as a different “protocol” regarding the use of drains. Some do not use drains. Therefore, for the most accurate information you should ask your surgeon how he/she typically handles drain removal.  In my practice,  I removed tummy tuck drains  when their output  is sufficiently low enough; average 1 to 2 weeks after surgery.

I hope this helps.

How long are drains in after tummy tuck

Thank you for your question.  If drains are placed after an abdominoplasty they are typically removed at 3-10 days, but it is dependent on the amount of fluid. I typically will remove a drain when 30cc or less is coming out of it in a full 24 hour peroid. It can depend on the size of the patient and the amount of liposuction performed. Every patient is different and some just produce more fluid than others.


You are correct. The drains will stay in place until the output is less than 30 cc in a 24 hour period. This could be 5-7 days and sometimes more. 


Drain in TT

Thank you for your question. There is no specific time when it come. I recommend to remove if it is less than 30 cc a day for two or more days. Duration widely varies but more commonly drain comes out in 7-10 days.

Tummy tuck post op care

Thank you for your question.  As every surgeon has their own unique set of post operative care instructions, it is always best to first discuss any questions or concerns with your operating surgeon.  That being said, in our practice the general rule with drains is that they must be producing less than 25cc's of fluid in a 24 hours period before we will consider removing them.  In many patients this will be about one week after surgery.  Every patient is different, as well, so again this is a general statement.  It is always best to talk with your surgeon first as they are familiar with you and your personal recovery experience.

With kind regards,
Lane F. Smith, M.D., F.A.A.C.S., F.A.O.H.N.S., F.A.B.F.P.R.S.
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon

Lane Smith, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 92 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.