What is a Drainless Tummy Tuck?

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A tummy tuck is a popular procedure for patients to remove excess skin and fat from the belly area to achieve a flat, washboard tummy. Whether excess skin is due to pregnancy, major weight gain and loss, aging or just genetics, a tummy tuck has the ability to completely transform a person’s shape and self-esteem.

Because of the complexity and breadth of a tummy tuck, drains are typically required after the procedure to remove excess fluid buildup and prevent the formation of seromas, which are pockets of fluid that can collect under the skin after surgery. This fluid inside a seroma is composed of blood plasma that has seeped out of ruptured small blood vessels and the inflammatory fluid produced by injured and dying cells.

Many tummy tuck patients looking to have a less intensive recovery inquire about the drainless tummy tuck. But what exactly is it, and who qualifies for it? Below we go over how drainless tummy tuck is made possible and who qualifies for the innovative procedure.

What is a Drainless Tummy Tuck?
A drainless tummy tuck is a type of tummy tuck procedure that uses an innovative surgical technique to avoid the use of post-surgical drains. The procedure is very similar to the tummy tuck in that is also involves elevating the abdominal skin, tightening the abdominal muscles, and resecting all excess skin from below. The key difference with a drainless tummy tuck is that when the surgeon pulls the upper abdominal skin back down, they place many sutures on the underside of the skin to tack it back down to the underlying muscles. This allows the skin to stay still, resulting in a decreased rate of seromas. A decreased rate of seromas eliminates the need for surgical drains.

Who Can Get a Drainless Tummy Tuck?
Patients within ten pounds of their ideal body weight are the best candidates for a drainless tummy tuck. Patients undergoing more extensive tummy tucks will likely need to stick to drains to ensure proper healing. In addition to a patient’s weight and height, your surgeon will also determine whether the drainless tummy tuck is an option for you. Some surgeons prefer to use drains, while other surgeons strictly perform the drainless version of the procedure. Make sure to talk to your surgeon beforehand to see what your options are and what their suggestion is for your unique body type and goals.