What is a Drainless Tummy Tuck?

drainless tummy tuck in miami

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Requests for tummy tucks are on the rise among both men and women. Also known as an abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen to tighten the muscles and fascia of the abdominal wall. For many, it's the only way to achieve a firm, cut look that can't be achieved through diet and exercise alone after age, childbirth, and other factors have changed their shape. A new kind of tummy tuck called the drainless tummy tuck is helping people to get great results with shorter recovery. Keep reading to learn more about the drainless tummy tuck.

What Is a Drainless Tummy Tuck?

During a traditional tummy tuck, drains are placed at incision points in the abdomen to drain out fluid that accumulates following surgery. Essential for a complete recovery from a tummy tuck, these drains stay in place for two to three weeks following surgery. Patients often find drains uncomfortable and bulky. A drainless tummy tuck doesn't require drains.

During a drainless tummy tuck procedure, a surgeon will use either glue or sutures to close incision wounds. When glue is used, it seals tissue that has separated within the abdomen. When sutures are used, the surgeon applies a special technique that quilts tissue back together. The end result is a night-and-day difference for patient satisfaction.

Drains used for tummy tucks require patients to consistently empty their own drains during the recovery process. Patients are also tasked with writing down fluid amounts. While every surgical recovery comes with its struggles, patients recovering from classic tummy tucks feel especially uncomfortable when resuming normal life after surgery because their drains stick out from the sides of the body. For many people, getting back to work is more difficult when wearing drains.

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Drainless Tummy Tuck?

What are the Benefits?

People who opt for drainless tummy tucks generally find recovery to be more pleasant. Let's cover some of the real-life issues patients face when they have drains attached during recovery. First, showering with drains is essentially impossible. If a person doesn't have a tub in their home, bathing regularly during recovery can be difficult. The only option may be to take sponge baths. There's no need to worry about accommodating drains while bathing with a drainless tummy tuck.

As mentioned earlier, returning to normal life with drains attached is difficult. You'll need to carry your drain bulbs with you at all times. This means pinning them to your belt, underwear, or someplace similar in order to keep them attached to your body. Wearing "normal" work clothing while accommodating drains can be next to impossible.

There's also a pain aspect. The sensation of drains continuously sucking against interior muscles and soft tissue can cause pain and discomfort as you try to resume your post-recovery life. By contrast, recovery without drains only requires you to deal with the usual discomfort associated with healing surgical wounds.

Drains also require upkeep. Patients are required to empty drains three times per day. In addition, liquid amounts must be carefully recorded at each emptying. This can be taxing for someone who is trying to return to work.

A drainless tummy tuck allows you to avoid all of the issues covered above. Your recovery with a drainless tummy tuck is ultimately going to be less painful. In addition, drainless patients tend to get back on their feet much faster because they are able to resume normal activities without the hindrances that come from having drains attached.

Are there any downsides to a drainless tummy tuck?

Patients are essentially getting an easier recovery in exchange for a slightly more complicated surgery. A drainless tummy tuck takes more effort and expertise on the part of the surgeon compared to a traditional tummy tuck. This usually translates to a longer surgery. However, many patients find that a slightly longer surgery is more than worth it for the perk of having what is almost certainly going to be a faster, easier recovery. Drainless patients can also skip the need to struggle with changing their own drains, accurately monitoring liquid flow, and wearing drains 24/7 for several weeks.

Who Is a Good Candidate for a Drainless Tummy Tuck?

Any patient seeking a way to get a flat stomach can be considered a good candidate for a drainless tummy tuck. Repair of diastasis recti (bulging stomach) is one of the most common reasons why people seek drainless tummy tucks. Everything from pregnancy to weight gain can cause the stomach to bulge. Unfortunately, diet and exercise cannot fix diastasis recti because it is a structural issue. In addition to helping you achieve a flat stomach, a drainless tummy tuck can also help to restore posture and reduce back pain by repositioning the abdominal muscles. Drainless tummy tucks are also used for hernia repairs. Patients with umbilical hernias and small ventral hernias can be good candidates for this procedure.

A drainless tummy tuck patient should be in good general health. In order to sustain long-term results, it's also important to be close to your ideal weight prior to a drainless tummy tuck. Women seeking drainless tummy tucks to repair loose abdominals and hanging skin following pregnancy should not be planning future pregnancies.

Where Does the Fluid Go With a Drainless Tummy Tuck?

There's no need to use drains with a drainless tummy tuck because this procedure prevents fluid accumulation. During a drainless tummy tuck, the surgeon uses a specialized method that attaches abdominals muscles and tissues in a way that eliminates the pockets where fluid would normally sit. These are the pockets where drains are traditionally placed. With these pockets eliminated, the fluid is simply reabsorbed into the body instead of being left to pool.

Are Drainless Tummy Tucks Better?

The answer comes down to a matter of patient preference. While the results of both traditional and drainless tummy tucks are similar, the recovery period is what makes them different. A person who doesn't have an option for a slow, at-home recovery may prefer a drainless tummy tuck because it allows them to resume normal life without wearing drains for two to three weeks. Overall, many patients find that they bounce back faster following a drainless tummy tuck.

How Much Is a Drainless Tummy Tuck?

Drainless tummy tucks can cost between $7,000 and $18,000. The amount of fat being removed, the complexity of the surgery, and a patient's choice for combining a tummy tuck with other slimming procedures can all alter the cost of a drainless tummy tuck in Miami. The only way to get an accurate estimate for a drainless tummy tuck is to book a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon.

Contact Boutinic Aesthetics to Learn More About Drainless Tummy Tucks in Miami

Boutinic Aesthetics is a premier plastic surgery center specializing in drainless tummy tucks in Miami, Florida. All of our board-certified surgeons are trusted professionals offering more than 20 years of experience. We offer flexible financing! Contact us today to book your appointment.

Dr. Ernesto Torres

Dr. Ernesto Torres

Medically reviewed by
Dr. Ernesto Torres specializes in aesthetic plastic surgery in Miami, FL


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