Would I need drains after the tummy tuck?
Abdominoplasty is commonly performed nowadays for the purpose of enhancing the appearance of the abdominal wall for patients suffering from loose abdominal muscles and an overall unaesthetic appearance of the tummy.
The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and is a major plastic surgery procedure. Abdominoplasty entails at least one incision that will allow the plastic surgeon to eliminate the excess skin on the tummy.
Because it is such a complex procedure, the tummy tuck is associated with certain risks and potential complications that can occur in a small amount of patients. Among these risks is the formation of hematoma and seroma.
Hematoma is an accumulation of blood under the skin. Seroma is the accumulation of fluid, often located near the surgical area. Seromas and hematomas can occur after any type of surgery, and when their size is small, they usually don’t require additional treatment. However, if the size of the seroma or hematoma is large, they might require being drained with a syringe or eliminated surgically. The occurrence of seroma and hematoma can delay the recovery process. This is the reason why most plastic surgeons will use drains for the tummy tuck.
Many patients ask during the consultation if they will need drains as they are worried the drains will be difficult to deal with. There is no reason to worry about the drain tubes. The drain tubes are used for most complex procedures as they will allow the body to eliminate the blood and other fluids and prevent them from accumulating at the surgical site and creating other complications. The drains are small and don’t pose any issues for the patient. The only recommendation is to watch the drainage through them and return to the plastic surgeon to have them removed when there is no more liquid flowing through them. Usually, this happens from the second or third day after the procedure. The plastic surgeon will advise you not to remove the drain tubes yourself as this might trigger infections or other potential complications.
When it comes to draining tubes after the tummy tuck, the rule is that the more complex the procedure, the more are the chances of the plastic surgeon using drains. If you are having just an abdominal liposuction combined with the mini tummy tuck, there are some chances that drains won’t be necessary.
To know exactly what to expect during and after the tummy tuck, make sure to discuss these issues with the plastic surgeon during the initial consultation for the tummy tuck surgery.