Is it Safe to Have a Drainless Tummy Tuck Procedure?

I am in the market for a tummy tuck and in doing my research I have seen you can have a tummy tuck with or without a drain. What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a drain vs not having a drain? Thank you. 


F, 43, New Jersey


   Both are very good options and I offer both procedures to patients. Drains which can be cumbersome and uncomfortable during the post-operative period assist in evacuating the excess fluid that accumulates under the skin flap after a tummy tuck. Drainless tummy tuck procedures which involve progressive tension sutures with or without a sealant and length to the operation and can be a more painful recovery for the amount of sutures placed in the fascia. Also it is reported that some surgeons have no seromas with drainless tummy tuck procedures but I am slightly skeptical of those reports. The risk of seromas is the reason plastic surgeons opt to leave drains to avoid this potential complication but unfortunately as with all surgery it is still not 100% avoidable. Good Luck!  

Drainless tummy tucks are really my standard now.  By "quilting" the back side of the skin back down to the abdominal wall, this technique not only takes tension off of the scar line, but also closes off the space where once we needed drains.  By not allowing one layer to slide back and forth over the other layer, the theory is that less fluid is produced and what is produced is easily absorbed by the body.  With less tension on the scar lines, I have found that the scars look better, and patient's recovery is also quicker than before I used this technique.  It does not mean that there will never be seromas, but I have seen much less since I converted to this technique several years ago. 

Dr. Eric Mariotti has 1 Tummy tuck before & after:

Tummy tuck before image performed by Dr. Eric MariottiTummy tuck after image performed by Dr. Eric Mariotti