In the aftermath of tummy tuck surgery, drains are frequently used to reduce the risk of fluid collection at the surgery site and associated complications. A tummy tuck typically involves the placement of two drains, which are usually exited through the traverse incision of the lower abdomen to reduce scarring.
Before being discharged home after a tummy tuck, patients will receive instructions on drain care. In addition, the effectiveness of drain suction will be demonstrated and how to correctly measure and record the output. Many patients wonder how long it will take before the drains can be removed after tummy tucks.
How Long Do Drains Stay In After Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck drain remains for 5-7 days after the operation. It is recommended that patients take two weeks off work after the procedure.
As part of the process, Dr. will give you instructions on cleaning the drain tubes and emptying the fluids. This accumulates in a bulb that must be emptied every few hours. Furthermore, they will discuss the importance of keeping the surgical area clean and dry. An indentation on the bulb indicates how much fluid has been drained.
It is recommended that patients walk after surgery even with drains still in place. It improves blood circulation, protects against DVTs, and can be a nice distraction from post-surgical soreness.
What Are Tummy Tuck Drains?
A tummy tuck qualifies as a meaningful surgical procedure, so the body naturally produces fluid at the treatment site to aid in healing. It is necessary to drain off much of this fluid since it is surplus to the body’s needs. Dr. inserts surgical drains directly below the tummy tuck incisions used to perform the tummy tuck to ensure an efficient draining of these fluids.
The surgical drains are clear tubes with bulbs at one end, used to collect fluids. It is imperative to empty these bulbs regularly, as advised by Dr. To make carrying them more manageable, they can be pinned to clothing or a belt.
How do you care for a drain after surgery?
Even though drains help prevent many risks, they come with some minimal risks themselves, mainly infection. The bacteria in the bulb or tube can enter the body if contaminated. It’s essential to keep the area around the drain clean and thoroughly wash your hands before handling or emptying the bulb.
Shower drains can be installed, but we recommend securing them in place with a belt or strip of gauze to prevent them from being tugged on or dislocated. Many patients opt for sponge baths during the first few days to avoid this problem.
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