Why Would I Still Be Draining so Much 6 Weeks Post-op? What Can I Do Now?

I had two drains. One was producing little drainage so he took it out 1 week post op. My drainage output has fluctuated between 40 cc a day to 68 cc a day at it's highest. I am 41 years old and 6 weeks post op and my average rate is 46cc a day. My skin is healing well but this drainage ceases to decrease and I do not have an infection. What are the causes of this? What would you suggest at this point? I'm back to work only part time and I'm not even sure if I should be moving at all now.

Doctor Answers 3

Excess drainage after a tummy tuck

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Ask your surgeon about injecting a chemical (doxycycline) into the drains to minimize the drainage. If this does not work, you may need surgery to remove some of the capsule which can be secreting excess fluid. Follow up closely with your plastic surgeon.

Drainage after abdominoplasty

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6 weeks is a long time for a postoperative drain. Sometimes the drain itself can cause irritation and ongoing collection of fluids.You should go see your physician again, but at this point it seems reasonable to have the drain removed. Especially if it is only putting out 45 mL in a day.That being said, it is possible that after the drain is removed you will develop a seroma. This is a collection of fluid under the skin that might need to be drained again. It is definitely okay to be moving around 6 weeks post surgery. Make sure that you have a careful discussion with your plastic surgeon to evaluate your condition.I hope this helps.



Daniel Medalie M.D.

Drainage after abdominoplasty

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Drains are often placed at the time of abdominoplasty to help remove excess fluid from the area where dissection was performed. Plastic surgeons decide on when to remove the drains based on their experience and judgement. You should discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon and find out at what amount of drainage he plans on removing the remaining drain.

Olivia Hutchinson, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon

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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.