Drainless Tummy Tuck FAQs

What about indentations or contour irregularities with Drainless Tummy Tuck?

Some surgeons have reported having indentations or irregularities in the fat beneath the skin of the abdomen when doing Drainless Tummy Tuck; we have not had problems of this type. In fact, the result has been more natural looking; we believe this is in part due to the uniform distribution of the subcutaneous fat and that there is less upward pull on the pubic region.

What is an Extended Drainless Tummy Tuck?

In an Extended Drainless Tummy Tuck, Dr. Pratt performs the full tummy tuck, but also removes skin and fatty tissue from the “love handle” area. The front and, to a lesser extent, the outside of the thighs will be lifted during this procedure.

What about using drains with progressive tension sutures?

Some surgeons have advocated placing progressive tension sutures in addition to placing a drain, but for a shorter duration in order to prevent fluid buildup. Depending on the technique used, this may be the case. However, using our current Our Drainless Tummy Tuck technique, we have not found a need for drains. And lastly, a short duration drain is still a drain.

Has Drainless Tummy Tuck been successful?

At Pratt Plastic Surgery, our experience at has been very positive. Our Drainless Tummy Tuck patients who have friends or relatives that have experienced the use of drains with a previous tummy tuck are uniformly amazed at the positive difference in their postoperative experience of the Drainless Tummy Tuck with regard to comfort, lack of anxiety and ease of care compared to the same surgery when drains have been used. Our patients are more active and usually return to work sooner than those having tummy tuck with drains.

How long has Drainless Tummy Tuck been available?

This technique is said to have been first introduced in Europe; however, in 2009, an American surgeon named Dr. Harlan Pollock made a presentation at an international plastic surgery meeting regarding his experience with what he call abdominoplasty using progressive tension sutures. He demonstrated a technique of additional suturing of the abdomen that tightened and obliterated the space in which we normally put drains. He noted fewer complications with this technique than with tummy tucks that involved drains.

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When will I be able to return to work and play?

Most patients will begin getting back to work between 10 and 14 days following surgery, depending on the type of activity required. Sometimes, it could be longer or shorter. An abdominal binder will help your core remain secure and comfortable for approximately four weeks postoperatively. You should avoid heavy straining and lifting for six weeks. Dr. Pratt will see you for follow up at one week following your Drainless Tummy Tuck; during this appointment, he will assess your progress and check that all is going as planned. All of your sutures are dissolvable and will not require removal.

Can I undergo simultaneous hysterectomy and Drainless Abdominoplasty?

If the gynecologist agrees to it, Dr. Pratt can, and often does, scrub in and perform Drainless Tummy Tuck following the hysterectomy.

What kinds of tummy tuck surgery can be performed using the drainless method?

Virtually all types of tummy tucks can be drainless, including mini, full, extended full, reverse tummy tuck and even panniculectomy.

Are there any other techniques similar to Drainless Tummy Tuck?

Some surgeons have attempted to substitute “fibrin glue” for the progressive tension sutures. Fibrin glue is a derivative of the patient’s blood that is taken prior to surgery, prepared and then used in surgery where it is placed in the pocket between the fat and muscle layers, with the hope that the two tissue layers will stick to one another, effectively sealing the potential dead space where the fluid would normally collect. Unfortunately, the connection is not strong enough to prevent the dead space from collecting a seroma; thus, fibrin glue is ineffective in Drainless Tummy Tuck.

When are drains recommended in tummy tuck surgery?

For patients on a strict budget, tummy tuck with drains may offer a more affordable option. However, the up-front savings need to be carefully weighed against potential lost wages if additional time off from work is required as a result of postoperative seroma or infection.

Are the saggy pubic area tissues improved with Drainless Tummy Tuck?

Yes, the procedure not only brings the excess skin down to the pubic area, but also effectively raises the pubic tissues to their normal youthful level.

What is the future of Drainless Tummy Tuck?

Although one cannot predict the future, we feel that Drainless Tummy Tuck represents a significant advancement in the evolution of abdominoplasty and is here to stay. An exciting invention is currently being tested in the U.S. and is currently available in Europe that will eliminate or minimize the number of stitches required to close the dead space, thus decreasing the time to perform this portion of Drainless Tummy Tuck surgery.

What happens to my belly button during Drainless Tummy Tuck?

The navel is firmly anchored to the underlying abdominal wall and cannot be moved surgically. Instead, during Drainless Tummy Tuck, the skin surrounding the belly button is replaced by healthier skin that is brought down from the upper abdomen like a window shade. Your same belly button is simply brought out through the new skin and stitched (Learn more about our Bikini Belly Button).

Where are the scars for Drainless Tummy Tuck?

A small scar is placed in the navel region as well as an additional one right above the pubic hair. Depending on your skin type, how your scar heals and your personal history of scar healing, Dr. Pratt may also have you consider our Scar Reduction Program.

Will my scar be placed low?

With Drainless Tummy Tuck, the horizontal scar in the lower abdomen can be placed as low as you wish, as long as it stays above the groin crease.

Learn More about Drainless Tummy Tuck

If you’d like more information about Drainless Tummy Tuck, please contact Dr. Pratt today.