Drainage still dark red 13 days post-op Tummy Tuck, no Lipo. Should I be concerned that it's still so dark and so much? (photos)

I had an extended tummy tuck without lipo done 13 days ago and I am still draining about 100 cc's a day of dark, thick red fluid. I have significant bruising on my right side, ironically that is the slower of the two drains. The swelling around the belly button area is significant. I was told by a nurse to put a washclothe rolled up under my garment by my belly button, because of the swelling I am getting blisters in the belly button. Is all this swealling and dark red drainage normal for 13 days post op?

Doctor Answers 6

Drainage 13 Days Post-Op

Hello, and thank you for your question. While the swelling and bruising are definitely standard with the healing process, it would definitely be best to visit your surgeon to have that drainage checked out to make sure that there are no infections or other issues. Good luck.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

Dr Kayser

Thank you for your question. Bruising often occurs and usually resolves in about 2 weeks. As long as it's not getting bigger and there is no evidence of infection, you should be ok. I would discuss this with your plastic surgeon. I hope this helps and have a wonderful day. Dr. Kayser - St Clair Shores

Melek Kayser, MD
Detroit Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Is the dark red drainage 13 days are Tummy Tuck and liposuction ok?

     The amount of drainage you are having per day along with the dark red color and bruising suggests that you have a blood collection called a hematoma.  This fluid collection can alter the desired outcome of your surgery, so you should see your surgeon for further treatment.  Good luck.

John Zavell, MD, FACS
Toledo Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

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

I appreciate your question.

Since there has been a change in your post op course, please contact your surgeon so he/she can examine you and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan 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

Dark Drainage

While drainage can persist this long after a tummy tuck, the fact that it is dark red suggests that you might have a blood collection that the body is beginning to break down.  Other than the fact that you have this drainage the pictures seem to show an excellent early surgical result, but the fact that you are developing blisters also raises the possibility that there is pressure on the skin of the belly button.  I would suggest seeing your plastic surgeon sooner rather than later, because if you are having a problem addressing it earlier will usually lead to a better outcome.

Isaac Starker, MD
Morristown Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews


Although having drainage is common, the amount of drainage you are having is concerning. Please notify your PS so that this issue can be addressed.

Anh Lee, MD
El Paso Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 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.