Drainless Tummy Tuck

Skilled plastic surgeon Dr. Leila Kasrai understands how frustrating it can be to eat healthfully, exercise consistently and still have stubborn belly fat or loose, excess abdominal skin. Whether major weight loss, pregnancy or hereditary factors have contributed to your troublesome midsection, abdominoplasty ("tummy tuck") can help.

Now, leading-edge plastic surgeon Dr. Kasrai offers the innovative "drainless" tummy tuck procedure for patients who want a flatter midsection with abdominoplasty.

Quick Overview of Traditional Tummy Tuck

With traditional tummy tuck surgery, Dr. Kasrai makes a horizontal incision across the lower abdomen in an area hidden beneath the underwear or bikini line. She then uses the incision to access and restore severely weakened or separated abdominal muscles. Dr. Kasrai may suture the repaired abdominal muscles into place to create the appearance of a “six pack.” Dr. Kasrai next removes excess skin; repositions the remaining skin, as well as the navel; places small drainage tubes under the skin to help reduce fluid accumulation; and closes the incision with sutures or surgical strength adhesive.

Why Drainage Tubes Are Traditionally Used in Tummy Tuck

Fluid tends to accumulate in the large spaces of the body that are created with tummy tuck surgery. Fluid accumulation can inhibit proper wound healing, as it prevents remaining fat, muscle and other tissues from re-bonding as necessary. To help avoid this, Dr. Kasrai inserts small tubes under the skin to drain any fluid. After surgery, you will need to keep the drainage tubes in place for several days or as advised by Dr. Kasrai.

Drawbacks to Drainage Tubes

Unfortunately, the drainage tubes used in traditional tummy tuck can be bothersome during recovery. Side effects include discomfort at the site where the drainage tube emerges from skin; discomfort or anxiety when drainage tubes are removed; a small risk of infection at the drainage tube site; additional scars; and prolonged healing time of drainage sites. In addition, fluid may seep onto clothing or bedding; antibiotics are needed as long as the drainage tubes are in place to protect against infection at the drainage site; and fluid must be drained from tubes twice a day.

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The Procedure

With the revolutionary drainless tummy tuck procedure, Dr. Kasrai uses a series of stitches to suture remaining tissues into place prior to closing the tummy tuck incision. This drastically decreases the vacuous spaces that traditional tummy tuck surgery creates. In turn, little to no fluid accumulates, and tissues re-bond and heal more rapidly.

Advantages of Drainless Tummy Tuck

Drainless tummy tuck recovery is quicker, easier and less painful than traditional tummy tuck recovery. In addition, there is less risk of infection and thus less need for antibiotics with drainless tummy tuck. You can bathe easier and are less dependent on others to help you during the recovery process. Lastly, there are fewer scars with drainless tummy tuck.

Aftercare for Drainless Tummy Tuck Patients

The aftercare for drainless tummy tuck patients is similar to traditional tummy tuck aftercare, except that you no longer have to deal with caring for high-maintenance drainage sites.

You may feel some initial discomfort or soreness following surgery and should take necessary pain medication as directed by Dr. Kasrai.You should also try some light walking after surgery, and walk around several times a day to prevent blood clots in the leg. You may need assistance to get around in the first day or so following surgery.

In general, you should take it easy while you recover. You will need to take about two weeks off from work and should resume normal activities, including exercise, as directed by Dr. Kasrai. You will need to wear a compression garment under your clothes for six weeks to help the healing process and provide added support to your abdominal area as you recover. Stitches will be removed in two weeks at one of your follow-up appointments. Dr. Kasrai will provide any additional aftercare instructions prior to your procedure.

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Surgery Risks

As with any surgery, there are certain risks involved with drainless tummy tuck. However, your expert drainless tummy tuck surgeon, Dr. Kasrai, takes every precaution possible to minimize these risks. Complications may include:

  • Infection
  • Blood clots, especially in the legs (Walking around as soon as possible following surgery helps minimize this risk.)
  • Seroma (fluid accumulation beneath skin)
  • Poor wound healing
  • Need for corrective surgery

Smoking, poor blood circulation and diabetes can all increase the chance of complications, especially poor wound healing. You are advised not to smoke for several weeks before and after your surgical procedure. It is also important that you follow all of Dr. Kasrai’s pre- and post-operative instructions. Doing so will reduce certain surgical risks.

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