1 Week After Mommy Makeover the Drain in my Tummy is Exposed, Can this Cause an Infection?

I am 7 days post op mommy makeover and just noticed my drain, that runs along the incision on the my tummy, is exposed. The open space is aprox. 4 mm long. Should i be worried? will this worsen my scar? can this cause infection? I will call my PS as soon as I can

Doctor Answers 7

Tummy Tuck / Abdominoplasty Drain Problem Management

I am glad your plan is to contact and follow up with your plastic surgeon in the very near future. In general the exposure by itself will probably not cause an infection - unless you try to push it back in - DO NOT DO THIS as you can push bacteria inside. Before there were closed system suction drains surgeons would just put in a floppy piece of rubber (penrose drain) or stiff rubber drain (red Robinson catheter) and just allow any extra fluids drain around it into dressings. This was a messy affair.. The bulb suction drains immediately replaced  them  but the point is just by having the drain there even if exposed is doing some good. In the meantime,  keep clean gauze dressing with some antibiotic ointment over the area of the incision and  drain exit site.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Drain Problem after Tummy Tuck?

Thank you for the question.

Yes, it is best for you to communicate with your plastic surgeon. However, you should have some peace of mind that drain related problems generally do not cause any long-term   negative sequelae  with your tummy talk result.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

1 Week After Mommy Makeover the Drain in my Tummy is Exposed, Can this Cause an Infection

Thanks for your question. You need to see your Plastic Surgeon today for his recommendation of your wounds.  If you are a smoker, you must discontinue all nicotine products. Best wishes on your healing and recovery.

Jeff Angobaldo, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

1 Week After Mommy Makeover the Drain in my Tummy is Exposed, Can this Cause an Infection?

It is best that you contact your Plastic Surgeon.  Try to avoid manipulating the drain until it is assessed by your surgeon.

For more information, please go to my website at:

Garrett A. Wirth, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Drain Exposure After Abdominoplasty-Will This Cause An Infection?

I don't totally understand your question.  Are you saying the drain, the white part that is under the suture line, is exposed for about 4 mm, which means that your abdominal wound is not healed and also means your drain isn't draining; or are you saying that where the drain comes out, some of the white portion is present at the drain hole, but the rest is inside underneath the skin.  If the drain is no longer draining, you need to call your plastic surgeon immediately.  On the other hand, if there is just 4 mm of white drain sticking out the drain hole, then this is of little consequence.

In any case, there are two absolute truths.  One, either type of exposed drain does not necessarily lead to infection.  Two, speak to your plastic surgeon and have them look at what is going on to get the best answer.

Tummy Tuck

Exposed drain in tummy tuck at the incision site can get infected.

You need to call your plastic surgeon now

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Exposed drain after mommy makeover.

Yes, you should contact your plastic surgeon immediately to be examined.  It sounds like a small area is exposed but I'm sure your plastic surgeon would want to know and possibly fix this.  Until you are seen by your plastic surgeon, keep a clean dressing over the area of the incision and the drain and minimize your activity.  Without an examine it is difficult to say whether this would cause an infection or increase your scarring but most likely not.

Jeffrey M. Darrow, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 98 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.