Why Are Drains Placed in Pubic Area Versus the Ends of the Incision?

What are the pros and cons to placing drains in the pubic area versus the actual incision? If placed in the pubic area, does it leave two small scars where the drains were? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 11

Drain position in tummy tucks

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The drain position is not that important. Just in case there is a widened scar most surgeons place it in the  hair bearing portion of the mons so as to be less noticeable.


Drain placement after tummy tuck

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It really does not matter where the drains are brought out-- traditionally they were placed in the pubic area, because the small scars they would leave would be hidden by the hair. With modern trends being for reduced hair in this area, it makes sense to consider other options for drain placement, including taking them out the transverse incision itself. This is worthwhile discussing with your surgeon before the surgery.

Matthew Concannon, MD
Columbia Plastic Surgeon

Drain placement

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By brining the drains out of the incision, you avoid a scar in the mons area.  99% of the time I bring the drains out of the incision as I feel this give a nicer overall result.


Good Luck.

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Location for drain placement for a tummy tuck

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As you can see from the variety of answers, either approach is acceptable and has its proponents. My preference is to place them through very small incisions in the mons pubis. These usually heal without any untoward consequence. Though the ends of the incisions are an option, this location can be uncomfortable when patients attempt to lay more on their sides in bed. 

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Drain placement after tummy tuck. You can tell your surgeon where you want them.

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Thank you for your question.

Either location is acceptable. The problem with bringing them out of the pubic region in the mons pubis is that it can leave two red raised scars that may be painful.  This can cause problems when shaving this areas as they can get cut and bleed.

I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Placement of drains

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Surgeons vary where they place the drains. I tend to put them near the ends of the incision, some go through the incision and some in the suprapubic area. They do leave very tiny 1/2" scars. Just make sure you ask your surgeon if he is using the progressive tension closure as it dramatically reduces the time you need to have the drains in place.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Drain placement

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The location of drains, in my parctice, is variable.  I can bring them out through the hair bearing area of the mons, to the side of the mons, lateral to the incision or even above the incision where the skin is numb and therefore the drain sites painless. 

The drain sites will leave a small scar that is usually of no consequence although I have had one patient in 20 years of practice who insisted on me revision a very tiny scar on her mons.  Go figure. 

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Why are drains placed where they are after abdominoplasty?

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Some surgeons place drains on the sides of the incisions, while some surgeons place them underneath the incision in the pubic area. This is a matter of personal preference of the surgeon. 

Drain placement

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Every surgeon has his own preference for placement of the drains.  I personally place them at the end of the incisions rather than in the pubis because I find that patients are more comfortable with this. The scarring is then part of the incisional scar.  The drains are removed after a few days.

Drain Placement - Sides of Tummy Tuck Incision VS. Pubis

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Every surgeon has his or her preferences based on experience and beliefs. If YOU feels very strongly that your drains need to be brought through the sides of the incision bring it up with your surgeon and let him/her either agree with you or explain to you why they feels you may do better with the drains coming through the Mons pubis.

The reason why many surgeon prefer to bring the drains through the Mons pubis is because they are more comfortable in that location and less apt to kink and block. In addition, should one or both drains become infected, the infection does NOT involve the incision potentially resulting in the incision opening up. Lastly, two small scars in the Mons pubis are hardly noticeable for but a very few quite inquisitive obsessive souls and are very well accepted by the overwhelming majority of women.

Ultimately, the choice is yours,

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis, TN 

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis 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.