How Long Can I Expect to Have Drains In?

I am having a mini tummy tuck and lipo on my abdomen and flank (back). How long can I expect to have my drains in for? Thanks

Doctor Answers 7

Drains after mini-TT-how long

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Drains are generally ready to be removed when the drainage decreases to an acceptable level. My threshold is usually 30 cc and typically after a mini tummy tuck this occurs by 2-3 days. Other surgeons may have a different threshold or a minimum time for keeping the drains in place. Each patient is a unique individual and these are only guidelines.

Good luck with your procedure.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Drain Removal After Tummy Tuck Surgery

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Thank you for your question.

Each surgeon has their procedure regarding drain removal after surgery so it would be in your best interests to ask your surgeon.

Generally, in my practice, I and remove the drains when the drain output is low (individualize each patient's care).

Best wishes.


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Drains are usually kept in until the total 24 hour output drops below a certain level (usually 30 cc per day).  After your type of procedure, drains can be removed anywhere from 5 - 14 days.  Best of luck.

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

When to remove drains

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Your surgeon will remove them when 24hr drainage is 30-50cc or less - usually within a week. You should know that excessive physical activity will increase drainage output.

J. Brian Boyd, MD
Rolling Hills Estates Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Drains with a Tummy Tuck

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Every physician has their own recommendations of when drains may come out. On average, patients may have the drains in for 1 to 2 weeks and in some instances, 3 weeks. We take drains out when the drainage is lower than 25cc in a 24 hour period. By doing this, lessens the chance of seromas which can lead to infection.

Leo Lapuerta, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Mini tummy tuck and liposuction and drains

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Usually for a mini tummy tuck and some liposuction drains are required for a few days to about a week sometimes longer.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Drains should stay in until they put out less than 20cc/day

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in our practice, we like to keep drains in for as long as it is required, until the output is under 20cc / day.  In rare instances if this takes more than 3 weeks, we consider taking them out before this cut off

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