I Have Had a Drain in for 18 Days Post Op. I Am Still Draining 40ml of Dark Red Blood. I Am Not Obese. Is This Normal?

Doctor Answers 10

Tummy Tuck drains with output 18 days post op.

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.  Please communicate with your Plastic Surgeon your questions. Together you will make a plan.

Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

I Have Had a Drain in for 18 Days Post Op. I Am Still Draining 40ml of Dark Red Blood. I Am Not Obese. Is This Normal?

My guess is that you probably have a bit of old blood under your tummy skin and it is taking time just to dissolve and work it's way out, which is good! Better out than in! And depending on the amount, you may continue to drain for a bit longer...I know it can be a real hassle but it is worth it to leave it in as long as you need!

John J. Corey, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

I Have Had a Drain in for 18 Days Post Op. I Am Still Draining 40ml of Dark Red Blood. I Am Not Obese. Is This Normal?

I am assuming that you had a tummy tuck with drains.  It is not unusual to have some dark clots draining after they have liquefied.  Some physicians leave drains in longer than others.  Just followup with your Plastic Surgeon.

Thomas Guillot, MD
Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Drain Output Normal after Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Thank you for the question.

Your plastic surgeon will be your  best resource when it comes to this issue;  he/she is able to evaluate the entire clinical picture,  a small part of which is the drain output. In the context of the entire clinical picture, the drain output may or may not be “normal”.

 In other words, continue to follow closely with your plastic surgeon.  Other sources of advice/reassurance cannot be specific enough.

 Best wishes.

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

Hold on here...

I'm going to be the heretic here but here goes.


First, I may be missing something, but I don't see where you state your procedure!  I will assume since everyone is assuming (and we know what happens when you assume) that you did have a tt.

I tend to leave drains in a long time.  I also see this not infrequently, without any ill effects.  I will also say that I am meticulous in regards to hemostasis.  At about 10 days or so, any clots under the flap start to liquify and will tend to drain.

As long as you are otherwise doing well and your ps is pleased with your progress, I think it is likely OK.

As  you can see, there are many ways to treat the same situation.


Scott E. Kasden, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Draining blood after TT


Unfortunately, draining blood or bloody fluid is not normal except in the first day or two.  Dark color indicates blood that has been 'sitting around' under your skin for many days. You should keep in contact with your doctor for frequent follow ups until it has resolved.

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Red drainage after tummy tuck is hematoma

Any collection of blood in the abdomen after tummy tuck is called a hematoma. Over time the blood will break up and drain out as a dark red fluid. What you have is not normal, however drainage is the solution. Stay in touch with your surgeon to see you through.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Dark Blood still Draining

It sounds like there some clotted blood is liquefying and draining. This sometimes happens. Keep you surgeon aware.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

40 ml of Dark Red Blood in Drain at 18 Days after Tummy Tuck

   40 ml of dark red blood in the drain at 18 days after tummy tuck may be a little hematoma that has liquefied and has finally drained.  The volume by itself is not concerning, but if the drainage picks up or continues see your plastic surgeon for an evaluation.  Usually at 3 weeks, drains are ready to come out.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Still Draining

Well, it is longer than average, but not rare. The word "normal" does not belong here. It would be helpful to know if the volumes are decreasing or not. 

I usually look for 30 cc as a removal goal, but occasionally these drains stay in longer than 10 days. I wonder if you had had a hematoma, as usually the drainage is quite yellow in color. Anything else unusual in your recovery? 

All I can suggest is close follow up with your surgeon. All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 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.