How can I shower with my drain?

I'm almost 3 weeks post op and I still have my drain. I've been taking "bird" baths but i really want to properly shower but I want to still stay health and not do any damage. I had a tummy tuck and my drain is still in.

Doctor Answers 9

Drains and showering

Hello and thank you for your question. This is definitely something you need to discuss with your plastic surgeon. Many plastic surgeons do things differently from each other based on their experiences. Some plastic surgeons don't like for their patients to shower when drains are in place and I am one of those plastic surgeons. Showering with drains can be a little awkward and I think it also increases the risk that they get pulled out by mistake. Hope this helps.


Ankur Mehta MD


Sugar Land Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Tummy Tuck Revision/Tummy Tuck/Abdominoplasty/Liposuction/High Definition Procedures

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

#RealSelf100Surgeon

Jaime S. Schwartz, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

Shower and drain

Thank you for your question. I do not recommend to shower to my patients. Please check with your surgeon for approval and guidance

Ven Erella, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Drains and showers

Some doctors allow their patients to shower with drains in place, however, I believe it could lead to an infection and ask my patients not to.  Check with your own plastic surgeon to make sure.

Mark A. Schusterman, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Shower with drain

Generally I do not want my patients to shower while there is a drain in place because I think the risk of infection  goes up. However, three weeks is a long time. You should discuss this with your surgeon; both about the length of time the drain has been in and whether he thinks you can cover the area with a tegaderm so you can shower.

William H. Gorman, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

How can I shower with my drain?

It is always best to ask these questions of your chosen surgeon as recommendations may be different.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

as below

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.  

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 484 reviews

How can I shower with my drain?

This is something that should be answered by your physician. In my practice, I typically let my patients shower after drain placement.  With that said,  for 10 years I did not allow it.  When I noticed all my partners were allowing their patients to shower, I decided to switch. Since changing my practice, I have not noticed any issues.  Most of what we do is based on how we were trained in residency.  

Christian A. Prada, MD, FACS
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 241 reviews

How can I shower with my drain?

 Congratulations on having undergone the tummy tuck procedure.Practices will vary. Best to check with your plastic surgeon directly. Best wishes for an outcome that you will be very pleased with.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,464 reviews

Drains with a Tummy Tuck

Thank you for your question. Many surgeons no longer use drains with a tummy tuck, by performing a progressive tension closure technique. This avoids a drain and the concerns you have. When I was using drains, I let my patients shower. I would have them pin the drain to a loose bathrobe tie around their neck, so the drain didn't get pulled out. You should check with your surgeon before deciding to shower. Good luck.


Steven L. Ringler, MD, FACS
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 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.