Is There Something Wrong After My Tummy Tuck?

To make a very long story short, I had a hematoma in December, following a C- section that resulted in doctor opening wound and it being wet to dry packed until it healed. This resulted in terrible scar so I had a scar revision and tummy tuck 3 weeks ago. PS said everything went great although I did have a small amount post op bleeding. I also had two drains placed on either side of hip during surgery. Well, Im now 3 weeks post op and doc still cant take drains out because Im draining so much

Doctor Answers 2

Drainage after Tummy Tuck

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Anytime skin and subcutaneous fat is elevated and moved to a new position (like in a TT), the body secretes fluid.  Normally, it will look bloody at first and start to clear as time progresses.  Some people secrete more fluid than others. The drains allow for the removal of this fluid so it doesn't build up and interfere with the healing. As a patient heals and starts to feel better, they typically increase their activity level. This may correspond to an increase in fluid output in the drains. This is normal. While having the drains is an inconvenience, it will help remove this fluid and not let it build up. Stay in close contact with your doctor and hang in there. Good luck. 

Is There Something Wrong After My Tummy Tuck?

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3 weeks is longer than average for TT drains (5-7 days), but it is wise to keep them in if they continue to drain more than an amount that may vary doctor to doctor and patient to patient (30cc a day for me). 

If what is coming out is mostly blood (and mind you that even a small amount of blood will make the drainage red) you might later on check with your physician about the possibility of a clotting disorder. This is unlikely but important to know if you may need surgery in the future or if you plan more pregnancies. 

If what comes out is yellow serum, your surgeon might consider trying to sclerose the area by injecting betadine or tetracycline to try to encourage this drainage to stop.

Thanks for your question. Stay in communication with your surgeon. Best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

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.