Doctor Recommendation for No Drain Tummy Tuck in San Francisco Bay Area

I can't find any in the SF Bay Area, apparently "no drain" procedure in fairly new - I saw some PSs in New York, TX even CO but does anyone practice it in California? (Bay Area specifically, I really don't want to travel for tummy tuck as the procedure is a lot of downtime)

Doctor Answers 9

No drain tummy tuck

Dear Diamond,

I have done any number of abdominoplasty procedures with drains and without and I can go over all of this with you. It mostly depends on your anatomy, your expectations, and your lifestyle and schedule whether it is best to use drains or not. I do not think it is a good policy for a plastic surgeon to say they always do or do not use drains, but rather what is best for you.

Thank you,

Dr. Romano

San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

No Drain Tummy Tuck

Tummy Tuck procedure continues to evolve and the latest innovation is the "No Drain" tummy tuck which is a procedure where the abdominal closure is tight and prevents fluid accumulation that would otherwise have to be drained with surgical drains.  I find an additional benefit of this procedure is that the scars look better and are better positioned.

Because it is a new variation on the Tummy Tuck surgery, you will most likely just have to call several offices to ask about it.


Martin Jugenburg, MD

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 472 reviews

Tummy Tuck in San Francisco Bay Area

The most important consideration is to find a respected and qualified board certified plastic surgeon. Once you find him/her, the surgeon can explore your options in terms of techniques. Don't get sucked in by marketing. In San Francisco, Dr. Roy Kim and Dr. Shahin Javaheri are possibilities. Consult with 3 - 4 surgeons to understand your options.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Performing a tummy tuck with no drains

Leaving drains in place after a tummy tuck can help decrease the incidence of a fluid collection (seroma). If you use enough progressive tensions sutures (quilting sutures) drains can possibly be avoided. I typically use both in my tummy tucks. The drains may be temporarily inconvenient but are probably the best way to avoid seromas.

Good luck,


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 381 reviews

Doctor Recommendation for No Drain Tummy Tuck in San Francisco Bay Area

Dear Diamond,

I perform tummy tucks both with and without drains. I would be happy to review with you the differences between the two and to address your overall body contouring needs.

Warmest wishes,

Larry Fan, MD

Larry Fan, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Use of drains in Tummy Tuck vs No drain Tummy Tuck

You are misguided in your quest. Just because there is new hype about no drain tummy tuck does not mean it is the way to go.  Tummy Tuck requires 2 weeks to recover with, or without drains.  Use of drains actually reduce post operative swelling by removing fluid rather than trapping small pockets of fluid, that  wait to be absorbed by your body.

 All surgeons can do "no drain tummy tuck" if they wanted to do it.  However everyone is not convinced by merits of its claims thus everone does not offer it. Stop looking for someone who offers this hype to get more patients and find a reputable trained plastic surgeon in your vicinity and you will do well. 

Vasdev Rai, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

No Drain Tummy Tuck

There is a lower rate of seromas (blister fluid collections, the very thing drains are supposed to prevent) with the use of the No Drain Tummy Tuck.  Numerous studies have shown this since the procedure was described 16 years ago using progressive tension sutures. We recently published our center's experience of over 450 tummy tucks during the period where we switched to the No-Drain approach, and it showed the the seroma rate was decreased from 9% when using drains to 2% when using the progressive tension sutures and no drains.

The average increase in time spent in the OR placing the progressive tension sutures in only 23 min when you look at all of the studies on the subject. As for a slightly higher cost... you get what you pay for.

There is a prospective study which was presented at our national meeting a couple months ago that showed that patients got to normal activity quicker and had less pain.

It is absolutely safe and my prediction is that drains in tummy tucks will eventually be a thing of the past as more surgeons get trained in the technique.

I hope this helps and best wishes.

Luis H. Macias, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Drains and Tummy Tucks

Thank you for your post. Whenever there is a potential space in your body, your body tends to fill that space with serous fluid (the yellow type of fluid that also comes out of a 'weeping wound'. This is similar to when you get a blister: the layers of skin separate and fluid is deposited in to the space. In a tummy tuck, the space is in between the skin/fat layer and the muscle layer. Most surgeons will place a drain to remove this fluid while your body is secreting it until the fat layer grows back together with the muscle layer. At that point, no more fluid is secreted into the area, because there is no more space for fluid. The length of time that this takes varies from patient to patient. Some patients heal much faster, thus the layers seal together much faster. Also, the more twisting motion you have in your belly area, the slower the two layers grow back together because they are moving in relation to each other. The fluid coming through the drain can be initially dark red, and eventually clears to pink then yellow. This is because it takes just a little bit of blood to make the fluid dark red. Also, initially, there can be a large amount of fluid (few hundred cc's in the first day is not out of the range of normal) and this should slow down substantially over next few days. Once the fluid slows down to the amount that your surgeon is comfortable with (usually 25-50 cc in 24 hours) then they will be pulled. There is minimal discomfort in pulling the drain in most patients.
More recently, 'drain free' surgery has become more popular. Fat layer is sutured down to the muscle layer starting at the ribs and progressively down to the lower incision. This makes the space for the fluid to collect much smaller, and in many patients can have surgery without drains. However, I have seen multiple patients come from other surgeons because they developed a seroma despite the suturing of the tissue. This is not the surgeon's fault, but some patients just do not heal fast enough or put out too much fluid for the body to absorb.
Best wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Progressive tension sutures are commonly used for TT

I'm guessing that you are referring to a TT technique that uses progressive tension sutures to obliterate the space beneath the abdominal flap and underlying abdominal wall. This is a great technique. There are certainly surgeons in the pacific northwest that use this technique. I'm one of them. Seek out a board certified plastic surgeon in your area for a TT consultation.

Scott C. Sattler, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 65 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.