The way to handle drains that you have placed at the time of a tummy tuck is that you, one, need to keep accurate measurements of the volumes that are being removed from each drain as there usually is one to two drains per patient when there's a tummy tuck. You should record these volumes daily, and you should also keep the area of the exit wounds of the drains cleansed with peroxide and a dry pad, so that there's no accumulation of secretions and no festering of the skin incision where the drain comes out. If these precautions are followed, the drains may be left in place long enough for the person to avoid getting any other problems such as seromas.

In addition to the drain care, you need to understand that the drains may be left in anywhere from one to two weeks after surgery. Local patients don't have to usually have them left in as long because they are able to return to the office for follow-up visits. The out-of-town or out-of-state patients don't have that opportunity, and if they develop a collection of fluid after the drains are removed, they are not going to be able to be treated long distance.

What Is the Proper Drain Care After a Tummy Tuck?

Dr. Mel Ortega talks about proper drain care following abdomen surgery, including different procedures for local and out-of-town patients.