Traditional Tummy Tuck With Drains vs. Drainless Tummy Tuck

Traditional Tummy Tuck

In a traditional tummy tuck, drains are crucial for removing fluid that accumulates between the abdominal skin and muscle layer. They facilitate proper healing and tissue adherence. This space develops during the removal of excess abdominal tissue.  By inserting drains, surgeons facilitate the removal of this fluid buildup, allowing adherence between the layers of tissue. But this process can take up to two weeks or longer, and the drains will have to stay in place during this time. Disadvantages of this procedure include drain discomfort, and visible scars at the insertion sites. Moreover, the lower abdominal scar may migrate upward due to the tight upper abdominal skin. As a result, initially well-placed scars may seem too high months post-surgery.

Drainless Tummy Tuck

On the other hand, a drainless tummy tuck method closes off the space between the abdominal skin, and the muscle layer by utilizing sutures placed in a quilting pattern. This closure technique effectively prevents fluid accumulation, eliminating the necessity for drains altogether.  The sutures used in this process are self dissolving, and will be naturally absorbed by the body after 6–8 weeks. There may be temporary impressions from the quilting sutures during the initial healing phase, which usually resolve within 1 to 2 weeks.

Drainless tummy tucks offer several benefits, including the absence of discomfort or scars associated with drains, improved early postoperative mobility, and the ability to shower sooner after surgery. Additionally, scars from drainless procedures tend to be better shaped and lower positioned upon healing.

Key takeaways:

1. Advantages of a drainless tummy tuck:
– No drains
– No drain scars
– Better mobility early on after surgery
– Ability to shower within a few days of surgery
– Generally, a better-shaped, and better-positioned lower abdominal scar when healed. There is no upward scar migration

2. Disadvantages of a drainless tummy tuck:
– The surgery is a little longer
– Possible skin dimpling in the first couple of weeks