Removing the drains after a tummy tuck
Removing the drains after a tummy tuck
The unsightly appearance of the abdominal area can be caused by many factors, such as multiple pregnancies or considerable weight fluctuations. After giving birth or after losing a major amount of weight, people notice that their tummy doesn’t look like before. There might be stretch marks on the abdominal wall, the muscles might be loose and the skin saggy, especially on the lower part of the tummy. These imperfections of the abdominal wall are not easy or even possible at all to correct with diets or physical exercises. The condition that makes the abdominal muscles loose is called diastasis recti and can only be treated with surgery.
The tummy tuck aims to remove the excess skin and fat tissue present on the inferior abdomen. It can be combined with a liposuction of the abdominal wall and the flanks, depending on the desires of the patient and the anatomical characteristics.
The tummy tuck is a complex procedure that requires a long incision positioned on the suprapubic area. Often the incision can go from hip to hip, but the dimensions are dependent on the amount of tissue to be eliminated. After making the incision, the plastic surgeon will detach the skin tissue from the muscles to have access to the abdominal muscles and strengthen them and correct umbilical hernia, if necessary. The skin tissue is then re-draped over the muscles and the excess skin is removed. Incisions are then sutured. Due to the large amount of tissue that needs to be detached from the muscles, the plastic surgeon might use drain tubes to prevent blood and fluid accumulation in the operated area. Often, we are talking about two drain tubes, positioned on each side of the abdomen. The drain tubes allow the blood and fluids to be eliminated from the body instead of accumulating near the surgical sites and creating seromas and hematomas. While small seromas and hematomas are not dangerous and will often disappear on their own within weeks, larger seromas and hematomas might require additional treatment and even surgery to eliminate them.
Using drain tubes after the tummy tuck is a popular practice nowadays, and your plastic surgeon will explain all the benefits associated with it. However, it is important to know that you will be discharged from the medical facility with the drain tubes on, and you will need to return to the plastic surgeon’s office a day or two after the procedure to have them removed.
Removing the drains after the tummy tuck is necessary when there are no longer any fluids eliminated through them. Often this means no longer than one or two days post-op, but it can be longer, depending on the complexity of the procedure. Keep in mind that it is dangerous to try to remove them at home, so don’t try it.
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