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Drain Tubes for Tummy Tuck

Drain tubes for tummy tuck

Medically reviewed by Mr. Omar Tillo MD, MS, EBOPRAS, FRCS (Plast)

A tummy tuck – or abdominoplasty – removes unwanted skin and soft tissue in the abdomen. While there are multiple medical benefits to a tummy tuck, many clients choose this cosmetic procedure for its invaluable aesthetic improvements.

While drain tubes are a common concern for tummy tuck candidates, it is, in fact, a perfectly natural aid to postoperative healing. 

The CREO Clinic does not use drain tubes, instead preferring to employ a new Brazilian tummy tuck technique, which uses internal sutures to reduce fluid build-up.

This article will help give you all the information you need to fully understand the impact of drain tubes on your recovery and to accurately assess the pros and cons of tummy tucks overall.

Why Do You Need Drains After Tummy Tuck?

Swelling after your tummy tuck is normal and manageable. As a way of counteracting this swelling, it is common for surgeons to use surgical drains in order to reduce the accumulation of fluid at the incision site.

Draining fluid also lowers the possibility of seromas (small accumulation of fluid), which are small, painful lumps that can appear under the skin.

Seromas themselves are not dangerous but can become uncomfortable as they grow larger; a drain can help prevent this eventuality.

How Long Do You Need Tummy Tuck Drain Tubes?

Generally, drain tubes need to remain in place between 2 – 7 days.  

Every person’s ability to heal is different, so it is extremely important to give your body the time it needs to recover. 

Your surgeon will pay close attention to the progress of your wounds in order to decide when the time is right.

Maintenance of Tummy Tuck Drains

An experienced plastic surgeon will give you thorough, straightforward instructions regarding the care of your drain tubes when leading you through all the most important advice for tummy tuck recovery.

You will need to empty the fluid sacs attached to your drains, perhaps two or three times a day. 

A factor of the utmost importance in drain maintenance is protecting the tubes from being pulled, as this can damage the recovery of the wound and prevent the successful removal of fluid.

Is It Painful to Remove Drain Tubes?

Usually, the removal of drain tubes is not painful, and any discomfort experienced would be extremely short-lived. 

One of the most common questions before a tummy tuck operation is about how painful it might be. Levels of pain differ from patient to patient, but doing everything you can to make yourself as comfortable as possible will be a good starting point.

Showering with Tummy Tuck Drains 

After your abdominoplasty, it is better not to shower at all for at least 7 days, as soaking recovering wounds at this early stage can be detrimental to their healing.

Once the 7-day point has passed, you may be able to shower, but great care will be required not to overexpose the wounds to water.

Patients may not bathe until scars are completely sealed, around 3 – 4 weeks.This can be the best way to ensure your tummy tuck scars have an optimal recovery.

Drain Free Tummy Tuck

Drain tubes are an inconvenience during recovery from a tummy tuck procedure, so some patients may be interested in a recovery process that does not use drain tubes.

A drain-free tummy tuck – or Brazilian tummy tuck – uses slightly different surgical techniques to remove the necessity for drain tubes.

Internal sutures reduce the build-up of internal fluid, avoiding the necessity for uncomfortable drain tubes. This can often be an advantageous choice for patients who feel they will find drain tubes awkward or especially limiting.

Is a Tummy Tuck Worth It?

Many patients are delighted with the results of their tummy tuck operation, which can shape the skin and muscles in their abdomen to create a more aesthetically pleasing look. 

Some patients may turn to a tummy tuck after pregnancy, so as to repair the damage from childbirth. Often, a tummy tuck surgery after drastic weight loss can be a way to return a sense of normality and feel more comfortable in your skin.

The cosmetic surgery is an excellent way to transform the appearance of your stomach, tightening up your core and providing a boost to self-confidence and quality of life.

Schedule a Consultation with CREO Clinic Today

If you are interested in tummy tuck surgery and would like to find out more, book a consultation with the CREO clinic’s own double certified cosmetic surgeon who will give you all the information you need to make your decision.

Dr Tillo is a specialist in tummy tuck surgery, and will collaborate with you to create a personalised cosmetic treatment plan that will ensure you feel comfortable and confident in achieving the outcomes you desire.

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