Are drainless tummy tucks safe? What are the pros and cons between drains and drainless? (Photo)
Doctor Answers 24
Pros and Cons between drains and Drain-less Tummy Tucks
For those patients who choose another surgeon, the question to drain or not to drain is at the surgeon's discretion. There is no consensus at this point though most surgeons still favor drains until the output is generally about 30cc/24 hours. I individualize and if little or no liposuction at the time of a tummy tuck, a minimal or mini-tummy tuck I often do not use drains, whereas for significant liposuction with a tummy tuck and other procedures (#MommyMakeover) I most often use drains but individualize as needed.
Are drainless tummy tucks safe?
Drained vs Drainless Tummy Tuck
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Are drainless tummy tucks safe? What are the pros and cons between drains and drainless?
About a Drainless Tummy Tuck
In some cases a tummy tuck or #abdominoplasty can be completed without #drains. The #drainage tubes are used by trained Plastic Surgeons for many different operations. The purpose is to release extra fluid that may otherwise accumulate under the skin, fat or muscle following an operation. Patients generally find this annoying and uncomfortable and they can impede mobility and therefore slow aspects of #healing. Over the years, surgeons have improved procedures and found ways to eliminate the need for these #drains in a variety of operations; including #tummy #tuck or #abdominoplasty.
I have found that most of my patients do very well with the exception of those have large areas of liposuction or lipo-abdominoplasty. I may use drains on a case by case basis for these patients.
A newer option now can include the use of tissue #glue to adhere the abdominal #skin to the #muscle; eliminating any space that previously required a drain.
If you go to a plastic #surgeon who uses drains, or if your situation requires drains, they usually stay in 3-5 days but may be required to remain in longer. Your board-certified plastic surgeon will recommend the type best suited for you. The most important decision to be made before performing any surgical procedure is determining whether you are an ideal #candidate.
New Study Shows Superiority of Drainless Tummy Tuck
I have performed drainless tummy tucks for many years and have found it to be a safe and reliable procedure when performed in appropriate surgical candidates. I have not had any problems with seromas. The length of surgery is increased somewhat, but I have been able to shorten my operative times by using a suturing technique which is somewhat different that is typically described by other surgeons. I use a continuous stitch which is woven back and forth to secure the overlying fat to the underlying muscle fascia (fibrous covering of a muscle). An average of 10 to 15 minutes is added to the length procedure, however, the closely woven continuous stitch that I use allows me to completely close the “dead space”, which is the reason I have not had problems with seromas.
In my experience, the extra time is very well justified, because all of the potential problems associated with drains have been eliminated. Because the tissues are securely attached to one another, healing between the fat and underlying tissues begins immediately. This allows patients to be more active during the early postoperative period, which in turn helps prevent potentially fatal clots from forming in the legs
I believe that conflicting views between surgeons are often the result of varying levels of experience with a particular procedure. Therefore, I would advise you to find a board certified plastic surgeon that has significant experience and success with drainless tummy tucks.
I hope that you find this answer helpful. Good luck!
Tummy Tuck : Drains or no drains
Drains and Tummy Tucks
More recently, 'drain free' surgery has become more popular. Fat layer is sutured down to the muscle layer starting at the ribs and progressively down to the lower incision. This makes the space for the fluid to collect much smaller, and in many patients can have surgery without drains. However, I have seen multiple patients come from other surgeons because they developed a seroma despite the suturing of the tissue. This is not the surgeon's fault, but some patients just do not heal fast enough or put out too much fluid for the body to absorb.
Pablo Prichard, MD
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.