Is It Normal to Have Dark Red Drain Fluid After 1 Week Post Op?

I am fit, 5'2" 122lbs. Had a TT 1 week ago and for the last 3 days my output went from 25 to 15 and then 10 cc of drain fluid daily. I am concerned that the color of the fluid has gone from light red to wine color. There is no bad odor, my pain is at about 2 on a scale of 10, I've been off pain meds for the past 4 days. Should I be concerned? I thought the fluid was supposed to get lighter in color.

Doctor Answers 4

Change in color of drainage

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A darker red color is normal. It's just older blood. After a few days it also may become almost clear. This is called serous drainage and is normal.

Old blood drains after tummy tuck surgery

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Dear BeautifulMe,


The Dark red drain fluid after your surgery is most likely old blood.

The important point you have mentioned in your description is that the drained volume decreased and so did your pain (you are off of the pain killers).


Please follow up with your surgeon for more specific instruction. It is important to have re-evaluation done by him.



Best of luck to you.

Dr. Sajjadian

Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 205 reviews

Drain fluid color 1 week after tummy tuck

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Thank you for your question. From the information you provided it seems to me your recovering very well from your tummy tuck surgery. Dark red drainage may be due to cloth coming out through the drain. Check with your plastic surgeon for more direct answer.

Moneer Jaibaji, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Dark drainage

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It is likely that this is just some older blood that was under your skin that is draining out of the drains.  If so, it's not uncommon and doesn't usually indicate a problem.

The fact that your pain is minimal and you're not needing pain medication is a good sign that everything is progressing well.

Hope this helps,

Dr. Hall

Jason J. Hall, MD, FACS
Knoxville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 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.