Should I be concerned with amount of fluid in JP drain after Tummy Tuck?

My sister had a tummy tuck at 4:30pm today, since then I've drain both her JP drains four time, each time they had 75-80cc each (so 600cc total in 4 hours and 30m). Is this excessive? I didnt get anything other than how to drain from the doctor. The fluid is solid red in color.

Doctor Answers 10

Drains and Tummy Tucks

Thank you for your post. Whenever there is a potential space in your body, your body tends to fill that space with serous fluid (the yellow type of fluid that also comes out of a 'weeping wound'. This is similar to when you get a blister: the layers of skin separate and fluid is deposited in to the space. In a tummy tuck, the space is in between the skin/fat layer and the muscle layer. Most surgeons will place a drain to remove this fluid while your body is secreting it until the fat layer grows back together with the muscle layer. At that point, no more fluid is secreted into the area, because there is no more space for fluid. The length of time that this takes varies from patient to patient. Some patients heal much faster, thus the layers seal together much faster. Also, the more twisting motion you have in your belly area, the slower the two layers grow back together because they are moving in relation to each other. The fluid coming through the drain can be initially dark red, and eventually clears to pink then yellow. This is because it takes just a little bit of blood to make the fluid dark red. Also, initially, there can be a large amount of fluid (few hundred cc's in the first day is not out of the range of normal) and this should slow down substantially over next few days. Once the fluid slows down to the amount that your surgeon is comfortable with (usually 25-50 cc in 24 hours) then they will be pulled. There is minimal discomfort in pulling the drain in most patients.
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.
600 cc in 4 hours is abnormal and you should notify your surgeon about this. 
Best wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Excessive drainage

This seems like a lot tso the best thing to do would be to call your surgeon and have him take a look.It may be jusy some fluid that was palced when he suctioned.It is always wise to call youyr surgeon if you have any questions.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

JP drains

Trains at the time to talk more normal. You should receive instructions how to drain in a measured. The amount is a lot. The color is not concerning. I would call your plastic surgeon today to get reorganized on this issue.

Concern about ab/normal amounts of drainage

Not necessarily. The idea of a drain is to get the fluid out of the surgical area. So the fact that it is draining is good. Saying that, what is concerning is the amount of bright red drainage from your JP drain because solid red could indicate excessive bleeding that may indicate active bleeding. You should be seeing your surgeon for regular short term post operative visits and he or she may need to address the active bleeding. This could necessitate going back in to stop the bleeding.

Ronald Freeman, MD
Macon Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Tummy Tuck Drain Tube Amount

It all depends on several factors: are their large amounts of clotted blood in your reservoir, was lipo also done, is a pain pump being used? Always best to check in with your plastic surgeon to see if this is too much especially as it appears to be on the generous side.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Bloody drainage

Thank you for the question and that amount of drainage is more then disconcerting and I would be reevaluated by my PS 

Dr Corbin

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Concern about JP Drain Fluid after Tummy Tuck

  • 600cc of "solid red" fluid coming out of a JP drain after  a tummy tuck, within 4.5 hours, is very concerning for active bleeding. Please contact your sister's plastic surgeon immediately.

Joshua Cooper, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

High amount of fluid after a TT

You should contact your plastic surgeon as soon as possible. It is a high amount of fluid drained in so little time and it could be an intra-abdominal bleeding. Better safe than sorry.

Best wishes!

Yily De Los Santos, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 1,693 reviews

Should I be concerned with amount of fluid in JP drain after Tummy Tuck?

If you were my patient I would demand to see you. I am concerned about bleeding issues and hematoma.. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Should I be concerned with amount of fluid in JP drain after Tummy Tuck?

I am sorry you seem to be having a problem. 600 cc of fluid out of drains in four and a half hours after abdominoplasty seems to be rather high. I would contact the surgeon. If unavailable, consider going to the emergency room. You can never be wrong by being cautious. Good luck.

Eric Desman, MD
Alexandria Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 9 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.