FULL TT without muscle tightening or liposuction 10 days ago and my drain is still draining dark red blood where 99% of the time I have to strip the line to get it through. Total CC's are 50-75 per 24 hour period. What could be a possible reason for the fluids not getting lighter or changing colors? As well as why is it clogging constantly and not free flowing?
Had a TT 10 Days Ago and Still Draining Dark Red in my Drain, Should I Worry?
Doctor Answers 4
Dark red drainage after tummy tuck
Most likely you had a small hematoma (blood collection) under the skin which has now started to dissolve and liquefy, allowing it to start coming out the drain. This should be self-limited and resolve within a week or so. You can help things along by using some heat to your abdomen about 3-4 times daily.
If the drainage doesn't slow down or actually increases, or if it turns bright red, let you surgeon know immediately.
Bloody drainage after tummy tuck.
What you're describing is not uncommon, but it is something that you should check in with a plastic surgeon about.
Initially after tummy tuck the drainage coming out of the drain is a bloody color. Over time, it begins to clear to a lighter or more yellow fluid.
Sometimes the drainage can stay darker longer if there has been oozing under the skin. Each patient is slightly different. Significant oozing can lead to a bulge called a hematoma. Sometimes small amounts of hematoma are barely noticeable under the skin and go on to liquefy and come out the drain. In this case the bloody drainage is a good thing because it allows old hematoma to get out.
The drainage numbers that you describe don't sound scary but their little bit high and may indicate that you had a small amount of oozing or hematoma under the skin at the time of your surgery.
The safest thing to do would be to check in with your plastic surgeon and follow his or her recommendations. In my own practice if there is no evidence of a big bulge large hematoma I usually leave the drain in a bit longer until the volume of fluid decreases or the drain begins to clear.
Good luck in your healing process.
Drains after Tummy Tuck?
Thank you for the question.
Although what you are experiencing is probably normal, it will be best for you to check with your plastic surgeon to rule out complications. As you know, the color of the drain output should gradually change to a yellowish tinge (serum). It is not uncommon for drains to “clog"; sometimes drain "stripping" is necessary to unclog the tubing.
Again, continue to follow with your plastic surgeon for the most accurate advice.
Best wishes for the remainder of your recovery.
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Drains and Tummy Tucks
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.
Pablo Prichard, MD
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