The goal when recovering from a tummy tuck is to achieve an excellent aesthetic outcome while minimizing the risk of healing complications.  Tummy tuck surgery often involves the placement of drains to aid the recovery period, and for a few important reasons. Although Dr. Power will provide detailed instructions to follow in order to successfully manage your drains, here are some key points about them and why they are important.

When Are Drains Used?

Drains are often placed during a tummy tuck to lower the risk of developing a collection of blood or fluid during early healing.  Two drains are typically placed to collect fluid buildup from beneath the abdominal soft tissues.  They are removed when the drainage has tapered to an appropriate level.  In order to assess your recovery, Dr. Power will require you to keep a detailed record of factors relating to your drains, including output, color, and any changes during your healing.

Why Are Drains Necessary?

Tummy tuck surgery removes excess skin and soft tissue of the lower abdomen.  In doing so, the tissues are elevated from the lower abdomen to the level of the rib cage.  The skin and soft tissues are then advanced during wound closure, which leaves a potential space between the fatty tissue and your underlying abdominal muscles.  After surgery fluid may accumulate in this pocket and potentially lead to complications if not absorbed by the body.  Many plastic surgeons utilize drains to lower the risk of developing a seroma or hematoma under the abdominal flap after a tummy tuck. These complications are caused by a buildup of fluid or blood, respectively.  Small fluid collections may be resorbed naturally by your body.  If larger or symptomatic, aspiration may be required which may increase risk of infection or delay healing.

How to Minimize Swelling

Along with the use of drains, wearing a compression garment is also important to lower the risk of fluid buildup at the surgical site.  It should be worn full-time for 6 weeks, even when sleeping, and removed only for brief periods to shower.  The abdominal binder may lower the risk of developing a late seroma after the drains have been removed.

Request a Consultation

A tummy tuck may be an effective way to achieve a flat, toned abdomen. To meet with Dr. Power and learn more about the ideal body contouring procedure for you, we invite you to contact our Toronto office by calling or filling out our online form.

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