The type of surgery performed and the patient’s healing ability will determine how long the drains stay in the body. Some patients only have one drain in their bodies for a few days, while others have two. No matter how long the drains are left in, patients should keep track of the fluid that is released each day. It is important to follow your surgeon’s postoperative instructions closely to make sure that you are healing properly.
Typically, a plastic surgeon will place abdominal drainage tubes within or near the incision site. Drains are usually left in place for at most 24 hours, or until the total drainage falls below a certain level. Different plastic surgeons use different levels as a reference. Some will use 20cc of drainage over 24 hours, while others will consider anything more. Some surgeons simply ignore both quantity and time and keep the drains in place for longer.
The drainage from a tummy tuck procedure will look like blood after the procedure. As time passes, the color of the drainage will change from pink to yellow and then to clear. The body will retain the drains until the fluid outflow from the abdomen is less than 25-30ml/hour. This process can take anywhere from five to 21 days depending on the type and extent of the surgery.
Seroma formation is a major concern for drains after a stomach tuck. Most patients will experience a small seroma that will naturally resorb on its own. Larger seromas, on the other hand, may require drainage. The abdominal compression binder is also important to reduce the risk of fluid accumulation in your abdomen.
After the tummy tuck, the drains will be removed after a certain amount of time. However, the drains will be there for a long time afterward, and they should be removed as soon as your surgeon says it’s okay. However, it’s important to remember that drains may make the recovery process uncomfortable or inconvenient, and they are there to help with the healing process.
After the tummy tuck, the drains will be left in for several days. To prevent infection, it is important to keep the area clean and well covered after the surgery. Patients should avoid using perfumes, harsh washcloths, or touching the area. These precautions will help the patient recover from the surgery without any issues. Patients can resume their normal activities once the drains have been removed.
Patients who are concerned about the appearance of their post-tummy tuck drains can use post-surgical drain belts to conceal the drainage bulb. Drains are usually made of waterproof fabrics and can be hidden under clothing. Special recovery robes are available from some companies that conceal drains. Doctors may recommend compression garments or abdominal binders after a tummy tuck.