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Tummy Tuck Drains: Information for Body Contouring Patients

By Hadi Rassael on August 10, 2014

A trim and athletic midriff on a female patientDr. Hadi Michael Rassael has built a strong reputation for expert aesthetic care, particularly when it comes to body sculpting and contouring. Numerous patients in the Washington DC metro area have visited the practice to undergo tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty), a great option for people who have lost a lot of weight.

After the tummy tuck surgery is performed, drainage tubes are placed to aid in the recovery process. Let's take this opportunity to focus on the drainage tubes and what role they play in patient healing.

About Tummy Tuck Surgery

Before discussing drainage tubes, some basics first about tummy tuck surgery.

A tummy tuck is performed in order to remove loose skin and stretch marks around the abdominal region. This is done through incisions that are made around the navel and along the lower portion of the abdomen. Through these incisions, skin tightening and tissue revision is possible.

Why Drainage Tubes Are Placed After a Tummy Tuck

After a surgery such as tummy tuck, it's not uncommon for fluid to build up internally around the tissues of the abdominal area. This fluid tends to be watery and reddish in color, and while normal, it's imperative for this fluid to be removed from the body in order to prevent excessive swelling, discomfort, and potential infection. In essence, drainage is a means of preventing serious complications.

Are drainage tubes uncomfortable?

Yes, drainage tubes are uncomfortable, but not unbearably so. The mild discomfort of the tubes is worth it given how they are able to prevent serious complications from occurring.

Patients Should Pay Attention to the Fluid That Is Discharged

Patients will be instructed to remove their drainage tubes every six hours. A fair amount of fluid may be discharged early on, and the amount can vary from tube to tube depending on placement, which is normal. Patients will be given instructions on the drainage process as well as what to look for in the fluid that is removed. Anything that seems amiss should be reported to the practice so that the matter can be looked into.

How long will the drainage tubes be in place?

Once the patient experiences less than 25cc of fluid drainage, they tubes will be removed. This is usually a week to 10 days after surgery for most patients, but some patients may have their drainage tubes in place for up to two weeks. This will vary from patient to patient since the healing experience is different for everyone.

The Removal of Drainage Tubes

The removal of the drainage tubes is done at a follow-up visit, and the process usually does not involve the use of any kind of anesthetic. Discomfort, tingling, and other peculiar sensations are common from the extractions of drainage tubes but subsides with general patient recovery.

If there are still issues with fluid drainage, one tube may remain in place while another is removed. Again, this will vary from patient to patient since the healing experience is different for everyone.

Discuss Your Options for Body Contouring

If you would like to learn more tummy tuck surgery and how it can help you achieve a slimmer and trimmer frame, we encourage you to contact our cosmetic surgery practice today. During your visit to Millennium Medical, we will help you make the best choices to achieve all of your aesthetic goals. Our team is here for you.

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Chevy Chase Office

4407 Willard Ave
Chevy Chase, MD 20815

Open Today 9:30am - 5:00pm

More Info Directions (301) 652-9005