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How Is a Drainless Tummy Tuck Different from a Regular Tummy Tuck?

If you are wondering how is a drainless tummy tuck different from a regular tummy tuck, Dr. Danielle DeLuca-Pytell, Your Girlfriend the Plastic Surgeon, has the with answers.

There are some important differences between the two methods of surgery. You can use this post as a starting point and talk about your aesthetic goals during your consultation with Dr. DeLuca-Pytell.

The Regular Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

This is the standard tummy tuck that has been done for many years. Both men and women with sagging abdominal skin and muscles due to weight loss or pregnancy may choose to have an abdominoplasty to help flatten and tighten their abdominal skin and muscles.

A tummy tuck can be a long surgery (up to four hours or more, depending on the amount of work), and it is done under general anesthesia. You can go home in the evening after your surgery. The overall recovery time averages two to four weeks.

With a standard tummy tuck, drains are placed at the end of the surgery to remove the fluids that your body will naturally produce at the surgical site. The drains suck down the skin layer to the abdominal wall to help that tissue seal back together. Ath home, you and your assistant will be responsible for caring for the tiny suction bulbs attached to the tubing so the bulbs stay empty. This usually requires emptying them at least two to three times a day in the beginning, sometimes more often. You need to be careful how you handle the drain, bulb, and drain site (where the drain tube exits your body) to avoid infection. You must track how much fluid is draining, as this will determine when the drains can be removed.

Usually, you will deal with drains for at least one week, sometimes longer. When you heal, you will have small scars where the tubes came out of your abdominal wall. They will be low, but permanent.

Even with the careful use and care of drains, developing a seroma is still one of the main complications of a regular tummy tuck. It can occur in up to 42 percent of patients. A seroma is a collection of fluid within the surgical site. It can be a painful swelling or a painless collection marked by a “waterbed” appearance . A seroma can get in the way of proper healing. Seromas after abdominoplaty need serial drainage, meaning it can take several visits over weeks for it to resolve. Sometimes, a seroma must be surgically removed because it continues to refill with fluid when drained. In rare cases, a seroma can become infected.

What is a Drainless Tummy Tuck?

A drainless tummy tuck is done almost exactly like a regular tummy tuck, but instead of drains, a special layered suturing technique is used that eliminates space left between the skin layer and the abdominal wall. It is also done as an outpatient procedure, and you will still need the usual recovery time, but you will not have to deal with drains. This means there will not be open holes in your skin, your risk of infection will be lower, and there is no risk of a drain leaking fluid on your clothing.  Since beginning the drainless tummy tuck, Dr. DeLuca-Pytell rarely sees seromas post procedure.

Multiple studies have shown that the risk of seroma formation after a drainless tummy tuck is less than with a regular tummy tuck. The seromas that do form are routinely small, heal easily, and rarely ever need to be removed. These facts have led many plastic surgeons to do only drainless tummy tucks.

The sutures in your abdominal wall are absorbed by your body. They last as long as needed for your body to heal but then disappear over time.

Learn More About How a Drainless Tummy Tuck is Different From a Regular Tummy Tuck

With a drainless tummy tuck, you will not have to deal with drains, and the risk of developing a seroma is less. Many patients heal quicker after a drainless tummy tuck and end up with a smoother scar.

Dr. DeLuca-Pytell performs drainless tummy tucks because of the many advantages they provide. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how a tummy tuck can help you achieve your goals.


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