Drainage Tubes With Extended TT/Panniculectomy? (photo)

I had a extended tummy tuck/ panniculectomy on Sept 26-12 and came home with the 2 jp drains, my left side has significantly lightened almost pinkish clear to about 15 cc every 8 hours however my right side is steady draining approximetely 25 cc pr 8 hours I saw my surgeon he felt it best to leave and watch educating me that he wants less than 20 cc over a period of 24 hours .. its now been 12 days and its still collecting, why would I bleed still on one side and no the other, should i be worried

Doctor Answers 5

You are likely not actively bleeding

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}


Thank you for the question and the photo.  I suspect that you are not actively bleeding as this would present with additional symptoms at this time.  It is much more likely that you developed a small hematoma (collection of blood) soon after your surgery and your drain is just helping your body to remove this as it dissolves.  Continue to wear your abdominal binder and give the drain more time to work.  Eventually the hematoma will be gone and the drain will be ready to come out.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Drainage tubes after tummy tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
It is important to keep drainage tubes in place until the criteria for removal have been met. Of course there is a risk of infection in keeping the drains in too long but this has to be balanced against the risk of seroma. In all likelihood, one side had more serous drainage than the other but the situation is within normal limits and you are being well followed by your doctor.

Drains and Tummy Tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Your surgeon's parameters for drain removal are spot on. It's not wise to take out drains before they meet criteria for removal. This will lead to an accumulation of blood or fluid, which can turn into a chronic seroma or even infection. Sometimes, one drain will be ready for removal before the other. This is relatively common. No need to worry.

Thank you for your photo and question!


Gregory C. Park, M.D.

Gregory Park, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

Drainage Tubes With Extended TT/Panniculectomy?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I concur with your surgeons recommendation to leave the drain until the measured output diminishes. The incision in the photo looks fine, as does the abdominal skin. You should have no concerns. Both drains drain the entire field, and it is uncommon for both to drain the same amounts. 

Thanks for your question, for the photo, and best wishes for your recovery. The result looks nice!

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon


{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}


Everything you are mentioned is completely normal. You should have nothing to worry about make sure you follow up with your surgeon. It’s normal for one side of our body to heal differently.




Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

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.