COVID-19 Reopening Updates View Update Virtual Consultation

+1 858-638-9800

9834 Genesee Ave Suite 328, La Jolla, CA 92037

schedule an appoinment

COVID-19 Reopening Updates View Update Virtual Consultation

tummy tuck drainsMost plastic surgeons will place drains after tummy tuck surgery to remove the remaining fluid left in the abdominal area. This is important to ensure that no infections occur and that the area begins to heal properly. These drains need to remain in place for at least a week after the surgery, though some doctors recommend up to two weeks. The amount of time the drain must remain in place is dictated by how much fluid it is draining per day, not necessarily by a standard length of time.

Drain Uses

After a surgery like a tummy tuck, when fat and skin are removed from the body, the area becomes typically inflamed, simply disturbing and manipulating tissue. In addition, fluid is likely to build up around the incision site and in every area affected by the tummy tuck. To mitigate this problem, a surgeon will insert a small, clear tube into the body; this tube then connects to a bulb or bag that collects the fluid. This keeps swelling to a minimum and speeds up the healing process. Each bulb or bag needs to be emptied several times a day to allow for more fluid to be drained and because the negative space caused by an empty drain improves the draining process.

Fluid Collection

Do not be alarmed if one drain seems to be collecting more fluid than another drain, or even if one seems to collect nothing while the other collects a lot. Both of these situations are perfectly normal and nothing to worry about.

For the week to two weeks that these drains are in place, it is essential to keep the area as dry and clean as possible, as this will stave off infection and any other complications that may occur.

The Number of Drains

How many drains a patient has will depend on the patient’s body and how extensive the tummy tuck was. Some women have only one drain, while others may have up to three. Before having a tummy tuck, it is essential to discuss with the doctor how many drains he or she may place and how long the surgeon expects them to remain in the body. Though most women find that a drain can be easily concealed beneath clothing, these drains may impede returning to work or everyday life. The doctor can tell the patient how long the drains will remain in the body and continually check in with the patient to see what kind of progress is being made.

When Will Drains Be Removed

Most patients’ drains remain in the body between seven and ten days after surgery, though some patients may be able to have them removed after three to five days. Doctors will monitor how much fluid is draining from each area, and when the drains are no longer relieving a large amount of fluid, the doctor will remove the drain.

Contact Marin Aesthetics to schedule a consultation.

*The content in this blog is developed to spread the awareness towards plastic surgery. Our blog is not intended to serve as a replacement for an actual in-office consultation with Dr. Marin. As such, the information within this blog reflects the unique cases of our individual patients.

Comments are closed here.

Related Posts

Tummy Tuck Side Effects

Because cosmetic surgical procedures are elective (rather than medically necessary), it can be all too easy for prospective patients not to take cosmetic procedures as seriously...

Read More

Tummy Tuck and Abdominal Muscle Repair

A tummy tuck procedure (abdominoplasty) is designed to remove excess loose skin and underlying tissue following dramatic weight loss. It can be done alone or in...

Read More

Tummy Tuck Recovery Timeline

Those who choose to undergo cosmetic surgery have particular goals in mind. Patients may desire thinner thighs, bigger breasts, or a flatter stomach. No matter the...

Read More

Tummy Tuck for Stretch Marks

Stretch marks occur when the skin stretches, as is the case with weight gain and pregnancy. For example, most women gain 30 pounds or more during...

Read More

Schedule an Appointment


In light of the state wide restrictions on non-essential businesses to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, we are rescheduling all of our elective appointments until the global circumstances improve. Our necessary post-operative appointments will be made, as needed, to address immediate surgical concerns such as suture removal and acute postoperative issues. All non-acute follow up appointments, fillers and Botox will need to be postponed until after the quarantine period mid April. Our office will reach out to all patients who need to be rescheduled.

We will be offering new patient virtual consultations online and via Skype that can be scheduled through our website or by emailing Also, we will offer follow-up appointments in the same manner to help manage our patients’ concerns while still respecting the need for social distancing.

We appreciate all of your understanding during these difficult times for all of us.

Stay safe,

Dr. Main and the Marin Aesthetics Team