Tummy Tuck, Post Op Day 5, Bit of Fluid?

Hi I had a drain less tummy tuck 5 days ago. My tummy is flat and looking good but I have noticed a small amount of fluid like quishing between my belly button and cut. The area is about the size of my palm and is not too raised is this anything to worry about and what is it? Many thanks

Doctor Answers 7

Edema following drainless tummy tuck.

From your description given, the swelling sounds like fluid.  I suggest you contact your surgeon.  Usually, aspirating the fluid out depletes the sensation of fullness and swelling.  You should keep strict compression on the area after aspiration so the pocket will adhere and heal.Thank you.

Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Fluid after tummy tuck?

There is always some fluid somewhere after a tummy tuck.  Some come out, and some needs needle aspiration.   No big deal.  Drains for a few days eliminate some of this but not all.  Drain or no drains are fine.  You will be fine.  Let you TT surgeon know  about this and get his advice please.  MY best,  Dr C

George Commons, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Tummy Tuck, Post Op Day 5, Bit of Fluid?

From your description, I suspect there may be fluid collection (seroma). Often these are addressed by aspiration, but it will your surgeon's decision. A call for an appointment is the next step. 

All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Fluid with drainless TT?

Hello and thanks for your post. Most likely, the fluid you are feeling is swelling in the tissues, which is more pronounced when no drain is used. It could also be fluid (seroma) trapped under the skin. Only your surgeon can determine the difference. Best wishes, Dr. Aldo.

Aldo Guerra, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 202 reviews

Drains and Tummy Tucks

Thank you for your post. Whenever there is a potential space in your body, your body tends to fill that space with serous fluid (the yellow type of fluid that also comes out of a 'weeping wound'. This is similar to when you get a blister: the layers of skin separate and fluid is deposited in to the space. In a tummy tuck, the space is in between the skin/fat layer and the muscle layer. Most surgeons will place a drain to remove this fluid while your body is secreting it until the fat layer grows back together with the muscle layer. At that point, no more fluid is secreted into the area, because there is no more space for fluid. The length of time that this takes varies from patient to patient. Some patients heal much faster, thus the layers seal together much faster. Also, the more twisting motion you have in your belly area, the slower the two layers grow back together because they are moving in relation to each other. The fluid coming through the drain can be initially dark red, and eventually clears to pink then yellow. This is because it takes just a little bit of blood to make the fluid dark red. Also, initially, there can be a large amount of fluid (few hundred cc's in the first day is not out of the range of normal) and this should slow down substantially over next few days. Once the fluid slows down to the amount that your surgeon is comfortable with (usually 25-50 cc in 24 hours) then they will be pulled. There is minimal discomfort in pulling the drain in most patients.
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.
Best wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Leaking fluid after a tummy tuck

A little bit of leaking fluid can occur around the drains or incisions after a tummy tuck.  Even though this is a very normal occurance, check with your plastic surgeon to make sure you don't have an infection brewing.

Tummy Tuck and Fluid After Surgery

What you are experiencing is perfectly normal.  Follow up with your Plastic Surgeon, as he may need to do needle aspiration.  There is always a little fluid after a Tummy Tuck.  Nothing to worry about. 

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 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.