For a Panniculectomy After Weight Loss (No Lipo or Muscle Repair), Will You Still Need Drains and is the Recovery Time Less?

Doctor Answers 2


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Hello Good Afternoon , 

Personally I do put drains for about 1 to 2 weeks depending on how much you are draining you need to be draining less than 50 cc to be able to remove them.  As for the process or the recovery after panniculectomy, it depends on several factors. During the first week, every patient should expect bruising and swelling, but the stitches will probably be removed in this period, as well as the surgical drainage tubes.Compression garments are absolutely necesary, yo would have to use it for about 4 to 6 weeks. You may feel numbness and tightness for a while, but all of this is quite natural after this kind of a procedure. Depending on the recovery in the following several weeks, activity and exercise may gradually be increased if you take good care of your self specially the first week all the other weeks and much easier swelling and bruising will gradually disappear. Until then, the patient should not be afraid by the look of the abdomen, because it is normal that it won’t look nice during the first several weeks the process of fading will continue for several months, and it will take a year or even more before the scar completely disappears. The key ingredient is patience with that achieved it will make the recovery much easier. 

Regards !

Mexico Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Recovery After Body Contouring Surgery

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Body contouring surgery involves the administration of large IV fluid volumes, blood loss, and inpatient hospitalization. As such, the recovery times for body contouring procedures are generally in the one month range with a two to three day hospital stay. While walking is encouraged during this period, surgeons often restrict activities (i.e. no heavy lifting greater than 5 lbs.) Complications are not infrequent in these procedures, ranging from wound breakdown to local infection. Seroma (fluid collection) is more common in these cases, and surgical drains are required to decrease the likelihood of this event. Systemic complications are also possible, namely deep vein thrombosis and renal insufficiency. While these severe problems are relatively rare, they lengthen recovery dramatically. Informed consent with your board certified plastic surgeon is an important process in understanding these potential risks to body contouring surgery.

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.