Traditional Tummy tuck vs drainless tummy tuck? (photos)
Doctor Answers 11
Drains are necessary
About No Drain Tummy Tucks
Thank you for your question.
During a tummy tuck surgery, there is space between the abdominal wall and the overlying fat and skin (the abdominal flap). The body will do what it usually does during the healing process, produce fluid, if nothing is done to close this space. Because there is nothing to confine the fluid from accumulating, a seroma can develop in this space. In other words, the tissue produces fluid more quickly than it can reabsorb.
Negative suction drains are placed in spaces like this to get rid of the fluid and create suction between the tissue planes. There is a way, however, to eliminate this space without using uncomfortable drainage tubes. Dr. Patel utilizes progressive tension sutures inside the tissues to close off the space and relieve tension on the last surgical closure. This results into less pain, less discomfort and less tension. Also, there will be better scarring with potentially minimizes infection risk.
We have successfully used progressive tension sutures during abdominoplasty instead of surgical drains, with a lower seroma rate than is generally thought to occur with tummy tucks and drains. With this method, the seroma rate is close to zero and you cannot beat that approach. Best of luck!
Dhaval M. Patel
Double board certified
Traditional Tummy tuck vs drainless tummy tuck?
Judging from your photo, it appears that you only need a liposuction. However, if you are assessed to have too much skin to for a lipo alone, a mini-tummy tuck may be indicated. A plastic surgeon could evaluate this for you with a personal examination. Another excellent alternative would be a liposuction with a ThermiTight, which would tighten the skin as well as diminish the excess fat.
Regarding drainless tummy tucks vs. the traditional TT using drains, the "no-drain TT" is always my recommendation instead of a traditional TT. The complication rate is lower, and both the recovery time and discomfort are significantly reduced. Plus, you are not encumbered with drains for 5-7 days. Seromas, which are collections of fluid, with traditional TT's is from 15 to 50%. according to the PS. The seroma rate with the drainless TT is nearly zero in my series and that of the inventors of the procedure with over 1000 procedures.
One cannot simply elect to eliminate the drains, however. It takes a special suturing technique called Progressive Tension sutures to eliminate the drains. Go for the drainless TT.
Best of luck to you., and thank you for your question and photo.
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What surgery are you getting?
Limitations of drainless tummy tuck
To drain or not to drain.....that is the question.
Drainless tummy tuck
The drainless tummy tuck is a small modification of the traditional tummy tuck. It preserves some lymphatics and utilises quilting sutures and or tissue glue to reduce the dead space. Surgeons can offer excellent results with both techniques. It's the surgeons choice and expertise to choose the technique he/ she feels can give you the best result. For your procedure you should plastic surgeon you were most comfortable with. All the best for your makeover.
This is surgeon dependent(more older surgeon will be using drains than younger more "aggressive" surgeons). Ultimately, most younger progressive surgeons use both, meaning they will opt for a tubeless tuck if during the surgery things appear appropriate for no drains, but if during the surgery things are a little more "wet" than they like, then a drain will likely be left in place. You need to choose your surgeon based upon the rapport you developed with him/her and not based upon if they use drains or not. Good luck with your upcoming surgery.
Traditional Tummy tuck vs drainless tummy tuck?
choice of drains or no drains should depend on the extent of the procedure and the surgeon’s opinion based on his or her experience. Good results have been obtained both with and without drains. The length of the recovery and the extent of swelling are not diminished in procedures where no drains are used.
What is far moreimportant, is the choice of the surgeon. I would suggest you find a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) that you trust and are comfortable with. You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person. While a second or third opinion may be worthwhile, continuing to pursue consultations until you get the answers that you think that you want to hear may not necessarily be in your best interest. If you are ambivalent, don’t do the procedure.
Robert Singer, MD FACS
La Jolla, California
Traditional Tummy Tuck versus Drainless Tummy Tuck
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.