Tummy tuck surgery is known for toning the midsection and creating flattering, transformative results. However, it is an extensive surgery and often requires a more challenging recovery period. Drains are used after tummy tucks in our Guilford, CT, practice to help patients heal cleanly and safely. But many patients have questions about tummy tuck drains and don’t know how to care for them.
Patients who are more informed about tummy tuck drains and understand how they work can better advocate for themselves during their recovery. In this blog post, we’ll answer some of the questions most commonly asked by our patients.
What are tummy tuck drains?
Tummy tuck drains are post-op devices that help patients avoid fluid buildup around the incision and treatment site after tummy tuck surgery. These small tubes have an attached bulb that helps drain excess fluid from around the treatment area. Removing this fluid helps prevent infection and other potential complications. By tending to drains and caring for them correctly, patients can enjoy a smoother recovery process.
Are tummy tuck drains painful?
Patients may experience slight discomfort around their drains for about a week after the procedure. However, the soreness isn’t any different than what most would typically expect from surgery. Contact your surgeon right away if you experience any swelling or abnormal levels of discomfort.
Can you shower with tummy tuck drains?
Patients should not shower for about 48 hours after surgery. It takes a few days for the incisions to close completely, so sponge baths are a safer option during this time. When you decide to take your first post-op shower, be sure to use cool water and try not to stand for a significant amount of time. Be gentle with your incisions and clean with only soapy water and a soft cloth.
How do you clean tummy tuck drains?
Your drains will collect excess blood and fluid during the first 3 to 10 days. Empty out the bulb around 3 times a day and be sure to record how much fluid was removed. This information will be important for your surgeon so they can monitor your progress. Be careful around the incision locations and clean the drain area with antibacterial soap. After showering or bathing, blot your drains dry with a clean cloth.
When are tummy tuck drains removed?
Tummy tuck drains are typically removed 1 week after surgery. This time frame varies from patient to patient, but drains are no longer necessary once they stop collecting excess fluid. When the fluid is a normal shade and at a low level, drains can be removed safely by your surgeon.
By understanding more about tummy tuck drains, you can feel more confident heading into your own tummy tuck surgery. Browse our before-and-after photos to see examples of real patient results. If you’re searching for experienced plastic surgeons in New Haven, CT, and want to learn more about your tummy tuck options, request a consultation online or call (203) 689-5295.