I just had a Tummy tuck and my doctor say not to shower till my drain is out. Can I take a shower while I have my drain?

Doctor Answers 7

Post op tummy tuck

always follow your surgeon's advice as he/she may have reasons for what they suggest in the postoperative period.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews


We recommend you follow your doctor's advice.
However, In our practice, having a drain does not mean you cannot shower.

Tummy tuck post op

Thank you for your question.  When it comes to post operative care and instructions it is always best to follow your surgeons directions as they are familiar with your surgery and medical history.  If you have a question related to those instructions, it is best to discuss those questions with your operating physician.
With kind regards,
Lane F. Smith, M.D., F.A.A.C.S., F.A.O.H.N.S., F.A.B.F.P.R.S.
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon 

Lane Smith, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

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Showering with Drains In

"When can I shower after surgery is one of the most common questions after surgery."  The presence of drains makes things more tricky.  I think there are really two camps of surgeons when it comes to showering with drains still in.  Some surgeons are worried about water tracking in the drain site and causing an ascending infection.  Others feel that actually washing the skin with soap and water decreases the bacterial load on the skin and decreases your chance of an infection.  However, almost all would agree that you should not sit in standing water with drains in.It's always best to follow the instructions given by your Plastic Surgeon because he/she has the most intimate knowledge of what went on in your operation, experience with what has worked best for them, and also will be dealing with any complications should it arise.  

Edwin Kwon, MD
Los Angeles Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Showering with drains

Every case is an individualized situation between doctor and patient. Regardless of any outside influence, it is important that you follow the advice of the phycisian who performed your surgery. At times it is acceptable to shower with a drain and at others not. Determining factors may seem trivial to the patient but may have real clinical consequences. Follow your post op orders and keep your appointments and you will be back to full speed in no time.

Joseph Parks, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon


Thank you for your question. I would follow your PS advice, every surgeon has their own protocol for post operative care and it is important to follow their instructions. I would discuss with your surgeon if it safe to bath with a wet cloth/sponge or if they can offer other ways to bath before having the drains removed.

Kamran Azad, MD
Pasadena Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews


It is always best to follow your surgeon's advice.  He/She is most familiar with your procedure and how your recovery is progressing.  Discuss alternative ways for bathing with your surgeon such as a sponge bath or using a removable shower head.  Do not go against your surgeon's instructions as there is a reason the advice was given.

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 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.