Is it normal to have swelling at the area where the drain tubes (sides) are located and how long does the swelling last?

Doctor Answers 5

Post-tummy tuck swelling

Thank you for the question. It is rather difficult to fully assess your situation without an in-person examination. Following a tummy tuck, some swelling and discomfort is considered normal. Drains may cause additional irritation, which is expected to resolve itself naturally over the course of a healing process. In some cases, it may take up to 8 months for swelling to completely subside. If you have concerns, an in-person exam with a board-certified specialist would be the best way to assess your needs and obtain reliable medical advice. Best of luck! Dr. Michael Omidi.


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Is it normal to have swelling at the area where the drain tubes (sides) are located and how long does the swelling last?

This is normal and should resolve once the drains are removed. You may have generalized swelling for several months before reaching your final shape.

Is it normal to have swelling at the area where the drain tubes (sides) are located and how long does the swelling last?

Thank you for your question and congratulations on your tummy tuck.  It is common for the skin surrounding a drain insertion site to have some mild swelling and redness as a result of friction and irritation.  This typically remains for up to a few days after the drain is removed.  If you are having significant swelling or spreading redness it would be wise to see your surgeon to rule out an infection which would necessitate drain removal.  Hope this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Tummy tuck - swelling around drain sites

Thank you for asking about your tummy tuck.
  • Drains are irritating and will cause some swelling around the insertion sites.
  • It should not be severe and subsides when the drains are removed.
  • If you are concerned about your healing and have recently had surgery, please discuss your concerns with your own surgeon -
  • Only s/he can take care of you and only s/he know exactly what was done.
  • Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Swelling at sites of drainage tubes

That is a great question.  I typically bring the abdominoplasty drains out through 2 small incisions in the mons area.  With or without drains, swelling after surgery will increase for the first three days and then slowly diminish.  There may be even more temporarly swelling if wetting solution was used and if you are wearing a binder that doesn't include this area.  The swelling then decreases-much is gone by 6 weeks but some subtle swelling can last for 4-6 months, and the lowest, most "dependent" areas take the longest to resolve.  So swelling in the mons area is expected.

Jonathan Hall, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 29 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.