Post-op Day 13 After TT, 1 Drain. 35cc/24hrs X Last 3-4 Days Should It Be Pulled?

I know the criteria is less than 30 cc/24 hours. Fluid is clear/pink. I have been moderately active last few days - by that I just mean up and about more. I wear the binder at all times (except showering obviously). Do I risk a seroma if he pulls it tomorrow at my appt?

Doctor Answers 5

Drain management

You are getting close to the point at which I would pull the drain but only your plastic surgeon can make the judgment call as to whether it is better to remove it or wait another day or two.  Definitely worth a discussion at your visit tomorrow but I think you should rely on your doctor's expertise.

New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Seroma after tummy tuck

A seroma can develop if the drainage is even lower than the 30 cc criteria.  However, leaving a drain in too long can also cause problems.  Generally, if a seroma occurs and is managed properly, it does not cause any long term problems.  This is his/her decision to decide what is best.

Leonard T. Yu, MD
Maui Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Is my drain ready to pull out yet?

The best time to have your drain removed after surgery is when your surgeon says it is. No kidding here, everyone of us have different requirements or slight variabilities in our post operative care and you should follow the advise of your doctor.  That said, I use "less than 30cc for two consecutive days in a very compliant patient" as my rule. Good luck.

Erez Sternberg, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

After TT, 1 Drain. 35cc/24hrs X Last 3-4 Days Should It Be Pulled?

I also use 30 cc per day as a threshold for drain removal, and my preference would be to leave the drain a while longer. But there are many variables that factor in to the decision, and I would trust your surgeon's judgment sooner than that of an online consultant. 

A seroma is an inconvenience, not a catastrophe.


Thanks, and best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Drain Management after Tummy Tuck?

Thank you for the question.

Congratulations on having undergone the tummy tuck procedure;  you have probably been through the worst of things. You will find that every plastic surgeon has a different “criteria” when it comes to drain management after tummy tuck surgery. I would suggest that you allow your plastic surgeon to  manage the drain according to his; remember he is ultimately responsible for care. In my opinion, if in doubt it is best to leave drains in a few additional days if the output is still high;  otherwise, you may be at higher risk for development of a seroma.

 I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

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