Do you use drains after Lipo and a bbl?

What are the benefits of the drains?

Doctor Answers 13

Drains after Surgery?

I never use drains after BBL, but usually do use drains on my Tummytuck patients. There are techniques called quilting, which obviates the need for drains, but the technique is not fool proof and increases OR time. Drains can prevent seroma formation, which is helpful, because if seroma does form and no drain is present, then they  have to be aspirated with a needle and syringe. Be sure to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon. Good luck!

New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Do you use drains after Lipo and a bbl?

Thank you for your question. After Liposuction i do not use drains this are used in other procedures such as Tummy tuck.

Do you use drains after Lipo and a bbl?

Hello dear, thanks for your post. Normally drains are not used during liposuction. But I understand that each surgeon has their own politics. 

Surgical drains are used in a wide variety of different types of surgery. Generally speaking, the intention is to decompress or drain either fluid or air from the area of surgery. Examples include:

  • To prevent the accumulation of fluid (blood, pus and infected fluids).
  • To prevent accumulation of air (dead space).

 I recommend to choose your board certified plastic surgeon to talk about your goal and concerns. 

Goo luck :)

Tania Medina de Garcia, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 328 reviews

Drain after Lipo & BBL

Thank you for your question. Drains are normally not used during liposuction or Brazilian Butt Lift procedures. Some surgeons do use drains for a Buttock Augmentation using silicone implants to permit serous drainage. Brazilian Butt Lift was meant to be used for Fat Transfer only. In fat transfer or grafting there is absolutely no need for drains. I hope this information was useful.  Best of luck on your search.

Michael K. Obeng, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Liposuction and BBL - are drains used?

Thank you for asking about your liposuction and BBL.

  • I do not use drains for either procedure and haven't seen a need for them.
  • Doctors who are not trained surgeons seem to be much more likely to place drains for these procedures - for reasons that I do not understand, except lack of expertise.
  • For a BBL, the fat is never removed with a heat based machine such as laser, ultrasonic or radiofrequency liposuction because it kills the fat.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Drains with Liposuction and BBL

Fluid collections or seroma may develop after liposuction.  This may require aspiration or drainage.

Few/ some surgeons routinely use drains for liposuction and BBL to minimize fluid collections from developing.

No drains recommended after liposuction or "BBL"

This is a very common question and a good one!

I do not recommend drains after liposuction or fat transfer to the buttocks (AKA Brazilian Butt Lift, or "BBL" for short).  In both of these procedures, small puncture incisions are made to remove the fat (liposuction) or inject the fat (fat transfer/BBL).  Drains are commonly used in surgical procedures where a longer incision is made and/or a greater amount of skin is repositioned, such as a facelift, breast lift, or tummy tuck.  This is because the swelling fluid that occurs normally after surgery can accumulate under the skin and cause problems.  The drains are placed to prevent that.

In liposuction, because only fat is removed and the skin is not repositioned, fluid accumulation is less of a problem, and therefore drains are typically not used.  There is still swelling, and fluid accumulation CAN occur, but your body will reabsorb this in most cases.  Wearing a compression garment after liposuction helps a great deal in preventing this.

In fat transfer (BBL), because fat is being added to the area to make it fuller, fluid accumulation under the skin typically does not occur, and therefore drains are not necessary.

Jason Dudas, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

Drains are operator dependent

The decision as to whether a drain is placed or not is entirely dependent upon surgeon preference. Many procedures which traditionally required a drain have as of late abandoned their usage. 

Typically I do not use drains in conjunction with liposuction and fat transfer. However, larger volume laser assisted liposuction procedures have a seemingly higher propensity for seroma development. In those instances, I would consider leaving a drain in place to mitigate fluid collection. It is also important to remember that these modalities are not employed in the setting of fat transfer (as this would compromise graft viability).

As always, discuss your concerns with a board certified plastic surgeon. 

Donovan Rosas, MD
Westchester Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Drains and lipo

Some surgeon use drains and others do not. I also think it is more commonly used by surgeon who use heating component systems like ultrasonic or laser assisted liposuction.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Drains in lipo and BBL

Neither procedure you mention would necessitate the placement of drains.  The only procedures for which I use drains are breast reduction and abdominoplasty, to permit serous drainage and prevent wound disruption.

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.