I Am Having Tt in May but my PS Has Told Me She Does Not Use Drains I Am 98lbs Do You Think This is Ok?

Doctor Answers 8


Traditionally, two drains are used with a full abdominoplasty. However, over the past several years there have been some modifications in the technique, and now sometimes one drain is used. With a different suturing technique, sometimes no drains are used. At the time of your consultation with the plastic surgeon, you can discuss this option with him/her. Multiple factors are taken into account including the size of the patient’s abdomen, whether associated liposuction would be performed, whether quilting sutures are used or tissue adhesives are used. In my particular practice, with a relatively slim individual where it is not anticipated that an excessive amount of tissue would be removed and there will be no liposuction, we are now performing abdominoplasty without any drains whatsoever. This is something you should discuss with your plastic surgeon, and ask him to explain his decision making process about when drains will be placed. As always, I would recommend consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon.

Cape Girardeau Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Tummy Tuck without drains

Every surgeon will perform every operation a bit differently.  As more and more operations are done surgeons typically alter their techniques a bit and as more and better techniques become available most surgeons will change their techniques to keep current. No surgeon likes complications.

I am sure your plastic surgeon performs this procedure a certain way because she is comfortable with it and she gets good results with few complications.

If you are not comfortable with her choice I think you should discuss that with her.  Your weight has no influence on whether or not a drain is used.

Thank you for your question and good luck.

Ralph R. Garramone, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Drains after tummy tuck?

I use drains with my tummy tuck surgery because of the amount of fluid build up from the body's recovery process.  The drains help to collect the fluid so that the body doesn't have to do the job of absorbing it all.  Each surgeon is different and has different reasons for their techniques.  I encourage you to discuss the reasoning behind your surgeon's techniques with him/her.  It is important that you are comfortable with both your surgeon and the procedure you are considering.

Mennen T. Gallas, MD
Katy Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

It's OK, but be prepared!!

It is certainly acceptable not to use drains.  Some surgeons use "tacking sutures" or "tissue glue" to help reduce the risk of fluid collection (seroma).  These techniques may add some cost to the procedure.  Drains are not foolproof either, and have the side effect of drain-site scars.  Seroma is one of the more frequent complications of tummy tuck.  If you do develope a seroma, it may need to be addressed.  Remember, you can still develope a seroma even if drains were used.  Most importantly, maintain a good relationship with your surgeon.  If you have any problems, I'm sure whe will address them appropriately...

Good luck, and I hope you have a GREAT result!!!!

Gregory Swank, MD
Hickory Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Progressive strenght sutures avoid drain in TT

progressive strength sutures  avoid  drain in TT, even if  it is realized at same time a lypo you avoid  them

Ramon Navarro, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Progressive tension sutures may avoid use of drains with tummy tuck

Because of the need for wide undermining of the skin in a tummy tuck, there can be a tendency for fluid buildup. With the use of a technique called progressive tension sutures, there is much less fluid buildup and many surgeons who use this technique find that drains are not necessary. My preference is to use them for a couple of days because we also use an On-Q pump that diminishes post op discomfort and I have found that there is s slightly higher tendency for some fluid. See my article "Controlled Results with Abdominoplsty" on the link below.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Drains and Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Thank you for the question.

You will find that every plastic surgeon has  a different way of doing things. Assuming you have done your due diligence and are confident in the abilities of your plastic surgeon (having seen a lot of examples of the plastic surgeons work),  then you will have to “accept” the way she does things or seek additional consultations.

If you have specific concerns (such as the use of drains)  it is okay to ask your surgeon about her reasoning  behind her decision-making.  If her explanation makes sense to then you will feel better about proceeding;  if not, seeking additional opinions  from other surgeons may be helpful.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

It's OK to not use drains.

Each plastic surgeon will tailor the surgery to best meet their patients needs.  Some use drains and others do not.  Both approaches are acceptable.  To avoid the use of drains, some plastic surgeons will do internal tacking sutures to sew the abdominal flap to the fascia of the rectus muscles, thereby closing this space where the fluid would collect.  Most times this works well and drains are avoided.  Occasionally some fluid collects but it is easily dealt with in the office.  Good luck.

Jeffrey M. Darrow, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 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.