Tummy Tuck and Catheter?

My PS told me that I would be going home with a catheter for three days post op. I don't have a problem with that as part of his fee includes visits by a nurse for those three days as well as my caregiver is a RN. Is there any harm in this? I've never had one before, nor have I read about it in the forums.

Doctor Answers 8

Catheter after Tummy Tuck

Not only do I not even use a catheter in the OR for Tummy Tuck, I have never heard of any Plastic Surgeon who discharged a patient with one. This is a set-up for a urinary tract infection. I, and many other Plastic Surgeons, do use wound drains for a few days, and those could be confused with a catheter, but this does not sound like what you are talking about.

Highlands Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Drains vs catheter

It is unlikely that your PS is referring to a urinary (foley) catheter. But he/she may be talking about are JP drains.  Please get this clarified by your PS.

Best wishes,

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 210 reviews

Do you mean urinary catheter or surgical drain?

There may be some confusion as to the term 'catheter'. Most of the time the term is used for a urinary catheter in the bladder. I have never sent a patient home with a urinary catheter.

However, the term catheter could also refer to a surgical drain. Surgical drains are left in place when a surgeon believes that there could be some post-operative bleeding and blood accumulation under the skin flap. I almost always send patients home with surgical drains after a tummy tuck.

Ezat Hashim, MD
Montreal Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Tummy Tuck and Catheter?

Looks like there is confusion in terms. Catheter in bladder for urinary issues or the word catheter for drains under TT flaps? You need to explain or be explained which one or both??? Get a understandable informed consent!

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Your surgeon may have special concerns based on your medical history

The personal interview with your surgeon is important to go over the past medical history. Your surgeon may have concerns and would like you to have catheter. I do not use catheter routinely for tummy tuck.


Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 122 reviews

Urine catheter not necessary after tummy tuck.


I never heard of this.  Are you sure you understood correctly?  Perhaps you should get another consultation.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Catheter after surgery

I do not leave a uninary catheter in a tummy tuck case after surgery.  It is removed in the OR or the recovery room.  This decreases the chance of urinary tract infections and allows early ambulation.  Only  wound suction drains are left in after surgery and removed when output is decreased.  Donald R. Nunn MD Plastic Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Foley catheter for Tummy Tuck

Every surgeons preferences are different but I have never needed to send a tummy tuck patient home with a urinary cathter.  The risk would be developing a urinary tract infection.  It may also keep you from ambulating to the restroom and ambulating in general which is not a good idea.  Unless you have a medical reason to be sent home with a catheter this doesn't make much sense to me.

Albert Dabbah, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 11 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.