Is Fat in a JP Drain Normal After Tummy Tuck and Liposuction?

I am postoperative day 5 from a full tt and thigh liposuction. I have 2 drains in place which had been draining serosanginous fluid, but one drain now has some stringy white particles in it. I have no fever and the abdominal pain is improving every day. After calling my surgeon he feels this is a small amount of residual fat and is not concerned. Is this common?

Doctor Answers 2

JP drain output after TT

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
The stringy white stuff in the drain tubes or bulbs is not unusual. It is benign debris, usually from protein in the draining serosanguinous fluid.

Tucson Plastic Surgeon

Drainage can vary after a Tummy Tuck

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

Drains are placed after tummy tuck to remove fluids that accumulate after this type of surgery.  Small particles of fat or protein strands may be visible in the drains.  You were correct in calling your surgeon and as long as you have no signs of infection, this is probably entirely normal.

Elizabeth Slass Lee, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 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.