Is it possible to have 2 drains after a tummy tuck? If not, why? (photo)

Is it possible to have 2 drains after a tummy tuck? If not, why? I'm asking because it seems if swelling from fluid build up is an issue, then two drains would eliminate more fluids at the same time. I have added a picture. In the pic this guy seems to have 2 drains. Can women do this also? Can I request this even if it's not the doctors usual practice?

Doctor Answers 4

Is it possible to have 2 drains after a tummy tuck? = yes it is possible #tt #tummytuck

Commonly, plastic surgeons leave two (2) drains after a tummy tuck. In certain cases, plastic surgeons may leave one (1) drain or no drains ( drainless tummy tuck). This depends of the technique used. In my practice I always use two (2) painless drains ( Blake drains in stead of JP drains) to prevent fluid accumulation after surgery. 


New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 111 reviews

Drains after surgery

Thank you for your question.As a general rule of thumb, two drains are usually always placed after a tummy tuck. This is done because it helps drain fluid from each side.  I think it would be more difficult to find a surgeon that only wants to place one drain. Good luck.

Francis Johns, MD
Greensburg Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Drains are necessary

I use three drains. There are multiple techniques for tummy tuck.  Traditionally this operation is performed with drains.  The skin is elevated off of the abdominal wall, the excess is excised, and the skin is draped over the abdomen.  This leaves a large area that needs to heal by sticking back down to the abdominal wall.  Drains provide a way for the fluid and blood to be evacuated and speed the process of the abdominal skin sticking back to the abdominal wall.  If drains are not used, the fluid that is generated by the elevation of the skin is still generated.  Those of us that use drains do not believe that simply by quilting the skin to the abdominal wall will prevent the accumulation of fluid.  In fact, the quilting would make the fluid accumulate in isolated pockets.  Drains are a very useful tool in an abdominoplasty.   They are temporary.  If they affect the outcome in a negative way, were difficult to manage after surgery, or were permanent, then it would be a topic worth debating.  There are surgeons that have good outcomes with drains, and surgeons that have good outcomes without drains.  Pick your surgeon based on their outcomes, professionalism, experience, training, ability, not on whether they use drains.

Drains and Tummy Tucks

The use of drains in Tummy Tucks for all Plastic surgeons is a matter of preference based on experience. The mere fact that some use no drains while others use them and there is a variety of drains used should tell you the issue is far from settled. Rather than dictating to your surgeon how many drains you want, u recommebd you voice your concerns about potentially untrained areas and ask him what would be the best ways to tackle it. Remember just because you saw it on the internet hardly makes it factual. For example on the tummy tuck photo you shared, the scar too high and not covered by the underwear. Is this a role model for surgical technique? Hardly. Speak to your surgeon. I'm sure he will explain things thoroughly. 
Dr. Peter A. Aldea
Memphis, TN

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 102 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.