The Center for Cosmetic Medicine

The Use of Tummy Tuck Drains During Recovery

By Stuart Baker on March 18, 2014

Decatur - Tummy Tuck DrainsDr. Stuart Baker combines experience and advanced surgical techniques at his plastic surgery practice to help patients enhance their appearance through cosmetic procedures. While the care and technique that goes into each procedure is vital, recovery time is equally important to the success of treatment. Following a tummy tuck procedure, surgical drains are one tool that is used by Dr. Baker to help ensure that recovery goes smoothly for patients. Prior to surgery, Dr. Baker explains to his Decatur patients the purpose of tummy tuck drains, how to care for them, and how long they are likely to be in place following surgery

The Purpose of Tummy Tuck Drains

Dr. Baker performs tummy tuck surgery to tighten and tone the abdomen by removing excess skin and tissue. During tummy tuck recovery, surgical drains are kept in place to collect excess fluid that may pool as a result of these alterations. These drains prevent fluid from building up behind the abdomen where the incision was made and helps prevent infection.

On average, two tummy tuck drains will be placed, although as few as one and as many as three may be used. Tummy tuck drains are clear tubes that are placed in tiny incisions that are separate from the primary tummy tuck incision. The tubes are placed beneath the skin and will protrude at one end where a small bulb will be present. This bulb collects the excess fluid. The bulbs will have small tabs on them so that they can be pinned to clothing or a belt.

Caring for Tummy Tuck Drains

Caring for tummy tuck drains is not difficult, but it is important for patients to closely follow the care instructions provided by Dr. Baker so that complications do not occur. Patients will be asked to empty the bulbs two to three times per day and keep track of the amount of fluid that is collected by the drains. Before emptying the bulbs, patients should gently squeeze the drainage tubes toward the bulb so that fluid is collected in the bulb. In most cases, the bulbs will have measurements marked on the side so that fluid can easily be measured before emptying. If not, the fluid can be dumped into a measuring cup before discarding the liquid. Each bulb will have a flip cap that can be easily opened to empty the bulb. Once it has been emptied, the bulb is squeezed and placed back on the drainage tube.

How Long Are Tummy Tuck Drains in Place?

Tummy tuck drains will be in place until it becomes apparent that they are no longer necessary. That is why it is important to measure the amount of fluid that is collected each day. It is normal for different drains to collect different amount of fluids so it is also not uncommon for drains to be removed at different times. A tummy tuck drain may be in place for as little as three to five days or it may be necessary for a couple of weeks or more. In most cases patients will be free of drains between one and two weeks following surgery.

Schedule a Consultation

Dr. Stuart Baker and his staff is dedicated to provided cosmetic enhancement of the highest quality in a setting that is warm and welcoming. If you are interested in enhancing your features and would like to learn more about the services we offer, schedule a consultation with Dr. Baker at your earliest convenience. We look forward to meeting you!

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