Tummy Tuck Drains: All You Should Need to Know

Abdominoplasty as referred to by doctors or tummy tuck as you may commonly know it helps to flatten your belly by removing the extra fat and skin and tighten your abs. Having this major surgery can be a big relief if you have been struggling with a bulging tummy for a while. A bulging belly disorients not only your body’s appearance but also your self-esteem. The anticipation of having a new better look is always exciting.

The biggest dilemma for you, if you are considering to go for this procedure, maybe – will the surgeon install a drain after a tummy tuck? The answer to this is yes. But you should be satisfied with this answer. It’s essential that you get more informed on the subject so that you can be mentally and physically prepared. This information will be critical in your decision making.

Why are drains necessary?

In abdominoplasty, the abdominal fat and skin are separated from the underlying abdominis muscles of the fascia and rectus. The abdominal flap which is of significant surface area and extends from the rib cage down to the pubic region tries to heal the affected areas of the surgery. This is done by gluing the edges of the abdominal skin with those of the fascia and rectus abdominis muscles via the abdominal flap. The body secretes the serous fluid to help with this healing. Most of the time, during this healing the body makes too much of the serous fluid to help with healing. When there are too much of these fluids, the edges that are supposed to stick together cannot. This greatly hinders the healing process and makes it take a substantially more extended period.

By installing a drain after an abdominoplasty, the doctor will be minimizing the amount of serous fluid that collects under the abdominal flap. Through this minimization, the abdominal flap can stick together easily and bring about fast healing. Apart from aiding to deal with the excess serous fluid, the drain also helps get rid of any residual blood. Too much blood in the healing areas of abdominoplasty is known to cause the separation. The separation of the healing regions will result in lengthy healing time. Abdominal drains are necessary after an abdominoplasty as they will help you heal faster.

How many drains are installed?

Usually, after an abdominoplasty, two drains are installed, and the location varies from surgeon to surgeon. Two drains are necessary as they encourage even healing of the stomach after this surgery. Additionally, having two drains means that no serious fluid or blood is likely to collect on one end of your healing stomach after this surgical procedure.

When it comes to removing the drains, depending on your healing process, both of them can be removed, or only one can be removed. If after the given period is passed and the plastic surgeon examines the drains and establishes that both of them are draining the same amount of fluid, then both of them will be removed. In the event that the plastic surgeon determines that one of the drains is draining more fluid than the other, the drain draining less fluid will be removed and the other one left. You will notice that once one drain is removed, the remaining drain may increase its output. This is no cause for alarm as there is only one drain left now the output was bound to increase.

How will your work and travel be affected?

As a person who is considering to go for an abdominoplasty, your biggest worry may be whether you will be able to work and travel with the drains in place. Actually, this worry about work and travel may be the reason that you are researching about drains right now. On whether you will be able to work with drains, well it depends. If you work in a clean environment that has a low risk of infections, then you can work with drains without any problem. On the other hand, if you work in an environment with a high risk of infections like a hospital, around animals or sanitary cleaning, it is advisable that you don’t work until the drains are removed. Also, if your work or workplace involves a lot of physical strain around the abdominal area like carrying heavy stuff, it is advised that you don’t work until the drains are removed. This is because strenuous jobs or jobs that involve a lot of physical movement may lead to a rapture of your abdominoplasty wound.

On the traveling side, with drains, it’s perfectly safe to travel via land, sea and even air. If you an individual who travels a lot you have nothing to worry about. Once you regain your strength, you can travel as much as you used without having to worry about the drains.

Removing the drains

After an abdominoplasty, it will take between seven and fourteen days before the drains are removed depending on your healing process. In the case of the occurrence of any unfortunate events that may lead to the slowing or disruption of your healing process, you may have to stay with the drains for longer. This is why it’s essential that you take care when you have drains installed to guarantee a smooth healing period.

During the removal of the drain, they are likely to hurt a little. A numbing spray is usually used to minimize the pain by numbing the skin. You can also take pain medication an hour before your drains are removed to minimize the pain. The open wounds left after the removal of the drains won’t be closed and will be left to heal naturally.

Donald Roland M.D. is a top plastic surgeon in New York City. This plastic surgeon has perfected his tummy tuck practice and has helped a lot of patients achieve gorgeous bodies. Dr. Donald has more than 16 years of experience as a plastic surgeon. Please visit his site if you’re in need of a tummy tuck specialist in NYC.