What Should I Expect from Drainage Fluid After Liposuction?

I had liposuction of abs-flanks on Thursday. Was told to return to doctors office following Tuesday for checkup to include removal of compression garment for the first time.

Question for you is... what is the average color of liposuction drainage? and is it ok that i cant clean myself real well in my private area, rear mostly (also had breast lift with implants). As of Saturday i am starting to smell a foul order from drainage. I believe its all over the compression garment yuck-o. help what can i do to clean my garment so i dont get infection.

Doctor Answers 4

Drainage fluid after liposuction

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I perform these procedures every week and usually the drainage is mixed with a small amount of blood that will lead to an odor.   If it is concerning at all please call your doctor.

Drainage after Liposuction

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The vast majority of Plastic surgeons perform TUMESCENT liposuction. In this procedure, the fat is injected with large volumes of a physiologic solution (Saline or Ringer's Lactate) mixed with adrenaline (to reduce bleeding) and a local anesthetic (for more comfort after the surgery). All of this fluid is NOT removed by liposuction and needs to be removed by the body. For this reason, to reduce swelling some surgeons leave the liposuction holes open (to allow for this fluid and blood) to come out while a minority prefer to use drains ( to control where this fluid runs out). It appears your surgeon prefers to leave the holes open.

Every surgeon has his/her preferred recovery protocol. I like my patients to shower within 36-48 hours because they feel a lot better. Your surgeon may not want you to do so.

Regardless - anytime the topic of stinky drainage is mentioned you need to start thinking about a possible infection. Rather than diagnosing it yourself, contact your surgeon and have him/her tell you what is going on. Do NOT delay doing this. It may be nothing or it may be a significant complication.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Drainage from liposuction

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If you are having drainage, more than a day after, and if it's malodorous, please contact your surgeon to be seen and checked out. If the area has become painful, or more painful that it has, you should be seen right away.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

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Drainage fluid after liposuction.

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If you are having fluid drainage that smells bad you need to call your surgeon. It is possible that you have an infection though this is extremely rare. 

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 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.