Tummy tuck incision starting to drain after first shower. Should I worry? (Photo)

Hi, I'm 15 days post op and I had my first shower yesterday after having dressings removed, I re applied fresh dressings and have noticed this morning that I have drained some pinky/ yellowy fluid from one of the drain holes! When the nurse removed the dressings yesterday that had been on for one week they were clean! I'm in no pain what so ever and have no fever! Should I worry or just continue with my after care as directed?

Doctor Answers 8

Report onset of drainage two weeks after and abdominoplasty to your surgeon.

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From the photograph I don't see anything wrong. Nevertheless the commencement of late drainage is worthy of a telephone call to your surgeon.

Tummy tuck incision starting to drain after first shower. Should I worry?

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Thank you for your question. Clear/straw-coloured drainage with a hint of pink can happen after drains are removed. I would let your plastic surgeon know about it. I would also keep an eye on the consistency, odour, and colour of the drainage and let your surgeon know if anything changes. 


Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 521 reviews

2 weeks post op, some advices:

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Thank you very much for sharing your concerns with us.
At this point (2 weeks post-po) the swelling is normal.
To reduce it, I recommend you perform daily lymphatic drainage massage therapy over the abdomen and wear a postoperative girdle from thigh to the breasts.
Kind regards,
Dr. Emmanuel Mallol Cotes.-

Emmanuel Mallol Cotes, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 372 reviews

Tummy tuck incision starting to drain after first shower. Should I worry?

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Thank you for your question and congratulations on your surgery. It looks as if you have obtained a very nice result.  Some fluid leakage from the prior site of drain placement is expected and not uncommon for the first few days as your body will slowly heal this hole over time.  Based on your description the fluid sounds appropriate, but it is always best to check with your surgeon if there are any concerns.  In the meantime keep a dry clean gauze over the incision to avoid soiling your clothing. Hope this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Drainage following a tummy tuck

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Looking at your post op photo, it seems you have a great result. A small amount of drainage is normal/expected. Persistent drainage is not. If the drainage continues or increases, see your plastic surgeon.

Drainage following abdominoplasty

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Your result looks great!  There is a hole where the drain was inserted and this typically drains for 3-5days.  The usual color is pale yellow to pale pink.  If you have fevers, cellulitis, change in color of drainage or increase in pain then that would be a reason to call your plastic surgeon.  Good luck with your recovery.

Saira Saini, MD
Fayetteville Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Late drainage from tummy tuck

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 This fluid, as long as it's straw-colored with a little bit of pink, most likely represents residual fluid between the skin and the muscle that would've come out the drain. If it starts to change in consistency or smell, then one would consider a late infected seroma. Follow up with your plastic surgeons recommended.

Marc J. Salzman, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

TT recovery

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Thank you for your question. This can happen from time to time. It is just some residual fluid that your drains were collecting before they were removed. As long as it looks clear/straw-colored, you have nothing to worry about it, and it should stop in the next day or two. Please let your surgeon's office know about it. Best wishes.

Paul J. Leahy, MD
Leawood Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 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.