What do I do with area where the drain used to be? Do I put tape on it? Or just leave it open?

Doctor Answers 8

It May be Best to Contact your Surgeon about your Drain Site Concern

It is best to call your surgeon and inform she or he of your concern. The sooner, the better. She or he may ask for you to visit their office for an in-person #evaluation. Then the #drain can be cared for. If at any time you have any concern at all about your healing process, it is highly suggested to contact your surgeon to avoid a future infection or impact on your final results.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

Mommy Makeover /Breast Augmentation/Breast Implants/Anatomic Gummy Bear Implants/Tummy Tuck/Liposuction/BBL

I appreciate your question. I would recommend that you discuss this question with your surgeon as every surgeon has their own respective post op protocol for his/her patients.  Your surgeon is your best resource as he/she is most familiar with your medical history and how you are healing at this time. The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam. Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery. Best of luck! Dr. Schwartz Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Director-Beverly Hills Breast and Body Institute #RealSelf100Surgeon

Jaime S. Schwartz, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Drain site

It is best to contact your surgeon for his/her recommendation.  Generally a small dressing of gauze is used to collect any remaining drainage until the site closes.  That usually happens in a day or two.

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

What do I do with area where the drain used to be?

Thank you for your question.  Please contact your surgeon for their specific management recommendations.  In my practice I recommend a small dressing until it closes on its own which usually occurs within a couple of days.  Good luck.

David J. Wages, MD
Peabody Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

What do I do with area where the drain used to be? Do I put tape on it? Or just leave it open?

Thanks for your question.  Please contact your plastic surgeon's office for the recommendation.  I generally have my patients cover it with gauze for 24-48 hours or until it stops draining. Bets of luck. 

Allen Gabriel, MD, FACS
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 160 reviews

Taking care of drain site after removal

After removing a tummy tuck drain, I usually put a dab of antibiotic ointment at the site and cover it with a few pieces of dry gauze.  Sometimes patients will leak a little bit of fluid from the drain removal site, so the gauze can be changed if it gets soaked, but generally the opening seals within 24 hours.  I also tell patients to avoid showers for that first 24 hours after the drain is removed, and no soaking in baths until all incisions are well healed.Every surgeon approaches drain care slightly differently, so be sure to check with yours before doing anything different.
Hope this helps, and best of luck with your recovery,Dr. Lim

Angeline Lim, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Drain site - how to care for it?

Thank you for asking about your drain site.
  • The best person to tell you is your surgeon - since we all do things differently.
  • I tell my patients to cover the drain site with gauze as long as it drains fluid.
  • After drainage stops, nothing more is needed and tub baths are allowed.
  • Usually drainage stops in 1-2 days.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews


After drain removal, I ask my patients to avoid tub baths until it has closed, and apply Neosporin ointment twice daily. Please ask your surgeon for specific instructions. If the area is draining, I recommend applying a dressing.

Connie Hiers, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 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.