Drainless Tummy Tuck in Seattle
Also serving Bellevue, Kirkland, & Everett
Drainless tummy tuck is the latest development in tummy tuck surgery methods. In general, tummy tuck surgery allows patients of all ages and backgrounds to achieve a flat and toned abdominal area. Known for his advanced surgical techniques, Dr. David Pratt, a skilled Seattle tummy tuck surgeon, offers drainless tummy tuck as a comfortable and convenient procedure for patients considering a traditional tummy tuck.
What are the advantages of “Drainless Tummy Tuck”?
- Less pain
- Less stress and anxiety about drain issues or removal
- Less activity restriction
- Easier time bathing and less dependence on others to assist you
- Less chance for infection
- Less need for antibiotics, thus less chance for nausea and vaginal yeast infections
- No additional scars
- Avoid seromas that need needle drainage or drain replacement
How does Dr. Pratt perform the “Drainless Tummy Tuck”?
Prior to closing the external incisions, a series of strategically placed dissolvable stitches are used to obliterate the usual space that remains when traditional drains are used. These stitches bring the tissues securely together, allow more rapid and predictable healing to occur, and significantly reduce the chance for a fluid collection requiring drainage. Patients are back to activities of daily living sooner, with less pain and inconvenience than when drains are used.
Why are drains traditionally used in tummy tucks?
The large space created by the surgery (known as dead space) tends to fill with varying amounts of fluid. A collection of fluid in a healing wound can hold apart the tissues that are trying to heal to one another. Drains used in abdominoplasty evacuate the fluid that would inhibit healing of the fat layer to the underlying muscle. By limiting activity and preventing fluid from building up in the space, the fat and muscle eventually heal together and obliterate the space.
How many drains are needed and for how long?
The number of drains required varies by patient and surgeon, but we traditionally used two drains for a tummy tuck. Drains were typically left in for one week, sometimes two weeks depending on the patient activity level and amount of drainage recorded.
Drainless Tummy Tuck vs. Traditional Tummy Tuck Surgery
One of the most difficult aspects of recovery from abdominoplasty for our patients has been dealing with the drains, which typically are pencil-thin plastic tubes that pass thru the skin. Usually left in for at least a week – and in many cases, several weeks – drains are used to prevent fluid from accumulating at the surgical site. Patients need to measure and empty the drainage bulbs 2–3 times per day, and take antibiotics until the drains are out.
Possible Tummy Tuck Drain Problems
- Pain at the site where the drain comes out of the skin
- Pain from tugging on the stitch anchoring the drain to the skin
- Pain and anxiety during drain removal
- Patient or caretaker anxiety regarding bathing with drains in
- Patient or caretaker misunderstanding care instructions
- Infection at the drain site
- Infection of a fluid collection after drain removal
- Vaginal yeast infections from prolonged antibiotics
- Accidental drain dislodgement
- Drain clots requiring repeated tube “stripping”
- Seepage of drain fluid around the drains onto clothes & bedding
- Loss of suction (defective bulb fills up with air) rendering the drain useless
- Activity limitations for two weeks after surgery
- Need for caretaker to drain fluid twice daily and keep a record of drainage
- Additional office visits to check out a drain problem
- Additional scars
- Indentation of the scar where the drain tube was removed
- Prolonged wound healing at the drain site
- Prolonged drain output requiring the need for drains for a prolonged time
- Fluid collection upon drain removal requiring:
- Drainage with a needle after drain removal ($50 charge)
- Placement of a new drain if fluid collections return after multiple needle aspirations ($500 charge)
- Open surgery under general anesthesia to remove the seroma capsule and closure of the space with sutures (minimum of $2,000 charge)
What is the downside of the “Drainless Tummy Tuck”?
Placement of the extra stitches with this technique requires more time than it takes to place the drains. However, Dr. Pratt uses a suture technique which allows him to perform this procedure more quickly than the traditionally described technique, thus adding less time to the overall length of the procedure. The additional time required does add modestly to the cost of the procedure, but patients report that the advantages make it well worth the extra cost.
I am Interested. What Do I Do Next?
The first step in learning more is to read our page on tummy tuck surgery. Next, please visit http://drainlesstummytuck.com/ to learn more about the drainless tummy tuck procedure and to get a better idea of Dr. Pratt’s credentials and training. If you want to meet with Dr. Pratt, please contact our office. Dr. Pratt provides comprehensive one-on-one consultation appointments, where you will learn all about the different treatments available to you, including drainless tummy tuck surgery.
Besides drainless tummy tuck surgery, Dr. Pratt also offers liposuction surgery, and he is a trusted mommy makeover provider. Additional procedures at his practice include: arm lift surgery, lower body lift and post-bariatric body contouring.