How long until drains are removed after tummy tuck op?

Tommy tuck op was done 4 w ago .. serous fluid (yellow fluid) more than 150cc still come in 2 drains ... How long wait till remove drains

Doctor Answers 9

Drains after a Tummy Tuck

Thank you for your question.  Generally speaking drains will typically stay in place until they are putting out less than 30cc in a 24 hour period.  In my experience, this typically occurs about a week after an abdominoplasty surgery.  If more than one drain has been placed at the time of surgery, the drains are often removed one at a time, 24 hours apart.  

I would recommend following up with your operating surgeon to discuss your drain concerns as they are most familiar with your specific case and since each surgeon has their own specific post-operative protocols.  I hope you find this helpful and I wish you the best on your recovery.

Woodbury Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

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

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


Jaime S. Schwartz, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Drains after tummy tuck

Most surgeons remove the drains when the drainage decreases to 25-30 mL per day. This typically takes about a week in most cases.  It is very unusual to have the drains in place at four weeks in my experience.    I would recommend that you continue to wear the compression garment and avoid  activities that stress your abdomen or increase your blood pressure. Continue close follow up with your surgeon. At some point the drains will probably be removed even if the output is higher than desirable. Best wishes to you!

Erik Miles, MD, FACS
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Post op drains

thank you for your question. Typically I tell patients that drains will stay in for approximately 2 to 3 weeks postoperatively. This all depends on the amount of fluid coming out of the drains. Typically we like to see less than 20 to 30 mL per 24 hour Per drain. You seem to still be draining quite a bit of fluid. This is something you should discuss with your surgeon  and follow with him or her closely 

James Shoukas, MD
Lake Mary Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Drainage after Tummy Tuck

Hello and thank you for your question. You appear to draining a significant amount post operatively. You should check in with your surgeon and have this evaluated. Typically the drains only need to stay in one to two weeks before the can be removed.  The amount of drainage determines when the drains can be pulled.  I typically remove the drains from my tummy tuck patients  when they are putting out less then 30cc per day. I hope this helps and congratulations on your recent surgery. 

Kenneth A. Godwin, DO
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

When are drains removed after tummy tuck

Congratulations on your recent procedure.    For most of us, the basic rule is that the drainage from the tubes needs to be between 20-25 cc in 24 hours PER drain.   Since you seem to have some persistent drainage - which is not uncommon - continuing to wear the compression garment and eating a higher protein diet may be beneficial.  Best of luck during your continued recovery.  

Joseph Franklin, MD
Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

How long are drains left in after TT

It all depends on the amount of drainage. You seem to be draining a lot. I would recommend you contact your surgeon for an evaluation. 

Rick Rosen, MD
Norwalk Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Tummy tuck and drains

It is a bit unusual for drains to have to stay in this long, but they are putting out a lot of fluid.  You should discuss this with your surgeon.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

How long until drains are removed after tummy tuck op?

Thank you for the question.

You will find that every surgeon as a different “protocol” regarding the use of drains. Some do not use drains. Therefore, for the most accurate information you should ask your surgeon how he/she typically handles drain removal.  In my practice,  I removed tummy tuck drains when their output is sufficiently low enough; average 1 to 2 weeks after surgery.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,502 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.