American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals
3 years ago

Is drainless tt better?

I have had consults with 3 different plastic surgeons in my area. I felt the most confident with the third surgeon. He is the only surgeon that does not offer the drain less tummy tuck. He also said he would not restore my muscles and this would make for an easier recovery. I read drainless tt offered quicker recovery with a less chance of developing fluid under your skin. What is better?

Procedure: Tummy Tuck
Location: mentor, OH

Replies 3

Gary Culbertson
ASPS Surgeon
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An examination would be required to answer your question(s). Yes, if you are just having a TT without liposuction then, most plastic surgeons will utilize progressive tension sutures and may not use drains. If you are having a LipoAbdominoplasty it can be a different story.

Plication of the abdomen with a TT is normally based upon your history and an examination. For example if you have had more than two children or C-section’s plication of the abdomen is often a necessity for good result and obtaining that pre-pregnancy appearance. In our practice it is very unusual to see anyone for a TT who has not had multiple pregnancy’s unless they are a massive weight loss patient.

Consider looking at the different types of patients that undergo TT’s to help answer your questions ( ). Hope this is of assistance.


Gary R Culbertson, MD, FACS

John Newton

Hello 03070h

Short answers:

1. If your muscles are stretched, have them repaired.

2. If you have a full abdominoplasty, have at least 1 drain.

Sometimes it is better do do things as are surgically appropriate rather than the easy way.

Dr John Newton

Karen Leong
ASPS Surgeon

Hello, great question! It is imperative to feel comfortable with the surgeon who will be operating on you and confident that you are in good hands so kudos for seeing multiple consults! However, as you've noticed, each surgeon will have different approaches to the same problem! A lot of this has to do with the surgeon's training and comfort level with the procedure. Drainless tummy tucks have been around for quite some time but not all surgeons are familiar with the technique or comfortable sending a patient home without drains!

That being said, there are some standards that should be kept to across the board!

1. If you have had children or if you have ever gained and lost a lot of weight, your muscles may have separated and may need to be repaired for the best result. This is determined at your consultation.

2. If you have a lot of tissue that needs to be removed for your tummy tuck, you may not be the best candidate for drainless TT because your body may make more fluid.


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