TT Drains out of the Sides, or Pubic Area? Thoughts or Preference?

Is it better to have tummy tuck drains coming out of the sides, or pubic area? Thoughts or preference? I want to choose what will give me the best outcome. Thanks!

Doctor Answers 10

TT Drains out of the Sides, or Pubic Area? Thoughts or Preference?

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    Placing an additional scar or two for the drains can be avoided by going through the incision.  There is no benefit to making additional incisions.  In addition, drains from the tummy tuck incision tend to hurt less.  Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of tummy tucks each year.  Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Tummy tuck drains central vs sides

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Hello newmetime,

The location of your drain exit is almost a personal choice issue rather than being a vital decision. My preference is to bring drains out to the sides rather than via the pubic mound  - I would prefer not to pass a drain through an hair bearing area but also the pubis is often an area treated with liposuction during TT and I'd prefer not to have a fairly direct pathway from the external environment directly into tight and damaged tissue. Finally, in the unlikely event of a thick /tender scar at the exit site then the pubis may not be the best place for it. Against that is the argument that it is less comfortable to attempt to lie on yous side while the drains are still in use if they exit at you sides. In the overall context of surgery, this particular decision isn't likely to influence your final outcome very much.

Good luck with your procedure either way!


Adrian Knox, MBBS, FRACS
Sydney Plastic Surgeon

Drain site

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The drain exit site will leave a scar behind.  There should be no scar in the pubic area after a tummy tuck.  There will be a scar there if the drain exits that area.  If the pubic hair is trimmed or absent the scar may be visible.  Each patient should be aware of this.

The drain exiting the lateral part of the scar places the drain scar in the tummy tuck scar so there is not additional visible scar. I place the drain in this location mainly to avoid the visible scar in the pubic area.

Best of luck.

Ralph R. Garramone, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Tummy Tuck Drain Placement

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The drain position is not that important. Just in case there is a widened scar most surgeons place it in the hair bearing portion of the mons so as to be less noticeable.

Drain sites after tummy tucks....

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My preference is to use the lateral scars or any site used for liposuction.  Avoid new scars is my mantra and I try to avoid new ones as much as possible.  Pubic scars will show when shaved down there so let your surgeon know your preferences.  Some doctors use a lot of internal sutures and don't  have drains.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Drain location for an abdominoplasty

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Drain placement is a matter of choice.  Some sites are more painful and difficult to take care of after surgery.  I have used both the lateral incision sites and mons or pubic sites.  Neither has been a problem.  As with any surgery it is important to discuss your goals and expectations with your plastic surgeon.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Tummy Tuck Drain Location Choices

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Great question!  The answer to the best place to place a tummy tuck drains depends on a couple of issues.  A remove exit site fromt the incision may have a lower chance of infection, but creates a new scar that is unsightly in a cosmetic operation.  If it is on the side, it may be visible in some swim suits.  With new grooming habits leaning toward clipped pubic hairs, the supra-pubic exit sites look aweful.  Take a look at photos on Real Self to confirm your own impressions. Tummy Tuck results should look good in and out of clothing.  My preference is to bring them out through the incision in the suprapubic region and to remove them early to reduce the risk of infection.  Another option would be to consider progressive tension sutures and avoid the drains all together.  Consider atll the pros and cons and discuss these choices further with  your surgeon.  All the best.

Drain tubes and TT

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It makes no difference whatsoever to your outcome!!!

The drain tubes are very small and the scars are barely visible once healed.

I place them in the sides, because it is more comfortable when you are lying in bed so the drain tubes dont have to lie across you.

All the best




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       Having pioneered along with my son , Todd PollockMD., the No drain abdominoplasty,  using progressive tension sutures,  I haven't found drains necessary for Tummy tucks..  If your surgeon uses drains, which most do, then the placement of the drains should be his/her opition.

Harlan Pollock, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon

TT Drains out of the Sides, or Pubic Area? Thoughts or Preference?

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I used hundred both ways. No difference expected in outcome. Out the sides is much less uncomfortable. Best wishes for your upcoming procedure. 

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.