Tummy tuck surgery can help patients who have excess stomach skin achieve a flat, sculpted abdomen. But before the full results of tummy tuck surgery are seen, all patients will undergo a recovery phase. During recovery, patients must follow post-operative instructions, which includes caring for drains. Drains are an important part of the healing process, helping to reduce infection and aid in healing. Read the following overview from Houston plastic surgeon Azita Madjidi to learn more about tummy tuck drains and the role they play in recovery.
What Are Drains and Why Are They Used?
Drains are used after tummy tuck surgery to help the body heal and improve the results of tummy tuck surgery. The drain consists of a small, silicone tube with a bulb on the end, the tube is placed within an incision to help remove fluid during the healing process. They are used to collect fluid that drains from the treatment area. This fluid can inhibit healing and prevent the abdomen from achieving a flat, contour. Drains can also be useful after tummy tuck surgery to check for post-operative bleeding and to reduce the likelihood of infection.
How Do Drains Work?
Drains are inserted during tummy tuck surgery and sutured into place. One end is placed within the tummy tuck incision and the bulb end is left outside of the skin. The bulb can work like a suction device, pulling fluid away from the incision. This extracted fluid then collects within the bulb. For most full tummy tuck surgeries, two drains are placed. Mini tummy tuck surgery is less invasive and generally only requires one drain.
How Long Are Drains Needed?
The length of time drains are needed varies from patient to patient. Some surgeons will use fluid measurement to determine when drains can be removed while others may use a fixed time frame. Though the length of time drains are required depends on the patient's needs, drains are generally left in for one to three weeks.
The Benefits of Drains after Tummy Tuck Surgery
There are many benefits to using drains after tummy tuck surgery. Drains help reduce post-operative fluid accumulation, aiding in healing and helping to create the desired abdominal contour. Some of the benefits of using drains after tummy tuck surgery include:
- Improved healing
- Smoother results
- Reduced risk of infection
- Reduced risk of seroma
Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Azita Madjidi
Tummy tuck surgery can give you the contoured, sculpted abdomen that diet and exercise alone are unable to achieve. Tummy tuck surgery can also help those who have excess skin due to extreme weight loss. This skin cannot be exercised away and can even lead to skin rashes and infections. To find out more information about tummy tucks, including drain usage and recovery, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Madjidi. We hope to hear from you soon.