Year in and year out, tummy tuck surgery (also known as abdominoplasty) is one of the most commonly-performed plastic surgery procedures. Both male and female patients love the tummy tuck’s ability to help trim and flatten the abdomen. A tummy tuck is intended to help patients who experience loose, excess skin or damaged abdominal muscles after weight loss, pregnancy, or other changes to the body over time. However, many patients may not know that there are several different ways that tummy tuck surgery can be performed. Today I will be focusing on the drainless tummy tuck and the unique benefits it can provide.

A drainless tummy tuck combines the tummy tuck procedure with liposuction to eliminate the need for postsurgical drains. The primary difference between a standard tummy tuck and a drainless one lies in how the surgical wound is closed at the end of the procedure. During a standard tummy tuck, an additional small hole is made in the skin, typically below the initial incision. A tube called a drain is inserted into this area to help clear any fluid that may accumulate between the skin and the underlying muscles during surgery. A drainless tummy tuck foregoes the need for a drain by using a specific layered suturing technique.

During the first step of a drainless tummy tuck, I use liposuction to remove isolated areas of fat from the abdominal area. This helps to achieve a better abdominal tone and shape. Next, I will make an incision along the abdomen, where I will then surgically remove excess skin, tighten the area, and repair damaged abdominal muscles. The procedure is completed by using multiple layers of sutures to seal the incision area, removing the need for post-surgical drains.

A drainless tummy tuck offers several unique benefits. By adding liposuction to the procedure, a drainless tummy tuck is also able to remove stubborn excess fat from the area, unlike a standard tummy tuck that only offers minimal fat removal. Additionally, in many cases recovery following a drainless tummy tuck can be simpler for patients. This is because a drainless tummy tuck eliminates the need to worry about fluid output or drainage during recovery. The recovery period after a drainless tummy tuck is often shorter than that of a standard tummy tuck.

While it’s certainly an exciting and safe procedure, it’s important to remember that some patients may not be good candidates for a drainless tummy tuck. For instance, patients who have undergone significant weight loss may be a better candidate for a standard tummy tuck. During a tummy tuck consultation, I discuss all available options with my patients and preview potential results with 3D imaging technology to determine the most beneficial surgical path for their needs. For more information or to schedule a complimentary plastic surgery consultation, please contact me, Dr. David Whiteman, at Southern Plastic Surgery. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more plastic surgery tips, news, videos, and more.