My Drains Are Clogged in the Bulbs? (photo)

I had my circumfrential tummy tuck with lipo and BBL a week ago with a PS in another country. I returned home a few days ago and I noticed tonight both my drains have huge clots hanging from the tubing to the bulb. I have tried 'milking' them but nothing is working. One of the drains has very little fluid in it because of the clog. What should I do??!

Doctor Answers 6

You will need to be followed by a plastic surgeon

Hello bessleal,

Thank your for the question and the photo.  I suspect the drain in question is the one that goes in the back.  It is not uncommon to have the "clots" that you describe.  Often these are not actually clogging the drain but frequently occur around the same time as the drain dries up.  A body contouring procedure such as a circumferential body lift will require plastic surgery follow up and monitoring.  Your drains will have to be removed at some time, activity will need to be managed, seromas sometimes need to be drained, and questions will need to be answered.  Touch base with plastic surgeons in your community and see if you can arrange a follow up process or perhaps have your plastic surgeon outside the country communicate with you about finding a plastic surgeon where you live.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 162 reviews

My Drains Are Clogged in the Bulbs after Tummy Tuck Surgery?

What you are describing is common and not necessarily a cause for concern.  There is nothing for you to do beyond what you have already tried. You will need follow-up with a plastic surgeon for evaluation and drain removal. Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,484 reviews

Clogged Drains

I am sorry to hear that you are having trouble  with your drains. Perhaps it is time  for you to make an appointment with a plastic surgeon in the U.S.  Let us know how the appointment goes.

Christine Rodgers, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

My Drains Are Clogged in the Bulbs?


It is sometimes normal for the drain to have some clots in them.  Milking them is not that useful.  If there is minimal drainage in the next 24 hours it may be time for removal of the drain tubes.  You should see a surgeon for assessment of when the drains need to be removed.


Stephen Salerno

Clogged drains

Clots are common in drain tubes and bulbs after surgery.  They usually lyse and liquify with time.  If you cannot get the drain open by milking it, you may need to see a surgeon about replacing the bulb under sterile technique.  It will be imperative if you begin to leak around the drain tube.

Raymond A. Faires, MD (retired)
Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon
1.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

My Drains Are Clogged in the Bulbs? (photo)

Call any of the local boarded PSs in your city ask if they would render care and expect a fee from $500 ++++/ Otherwise you might need to return to the out of US surgeon for care. These are the risks for flying out of country for cosmetic surgery. The care for a complication here back in US is charged at higher fees. 

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