Drainless Tummy Tuck? Yes, it Exists!


The tummy tuck (also known as abdominoplasty) is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures… and it’s not hard to understand why. Whether you’ve lost a lot of weight, given birth, or simply found yourself struggling with stubborn fat in your midsection, a tummy tuck can help you gain the contoured appearance of your dreams. Not only does the tummy tuck involve the removal of excess fat and skin, but it also strengthens the muscle in your stomach wall, leading to a toned, taut belly.

There’s just one aspect of the tummy tuck that isn’t so popular, and that’s the use of drains. Historically, tummy tuck patients have required drains to remain in place for up to seven days following their procedure. These drains are important for preventing fluid collection, but they can also be extremely uncomfortable and inconvenient.

But what if there was a way to get a drainless tummy tuck? Thanks to advances in plastic surgery techniques, drainless tummy tucks are not only possible but are increasingly common. We are pleased to offer this option to our patients at Charlotte Plastic Surgery.

The best way to learn about the drainless tummy tuck, and to determine whether you’re a good candidate for one, is to schedule a consultation with one of our providers. For now, here’s a quick overview.

What is a Drainless Tummy Tuck?

Basically, this procedure combines the traditional tummy tuck with liposuction, then uses a layered suturing technique to eliminate the need for any drains.

First, your surgeon will use liposuction to get rid of isolated fat deposits in your abdominal area. This allows for a more contoured and shapely appearance while minimizing the need for further surgical intervention.

From there, an incision will be made in the abdominal region, giving your surgeon the space required to excise loose skin and to tighten your remaining skin and muscle tissue.

Finally, your surgeon will apply multiple layers of sutures, which make it possible for you to enjoy a drain-free recovery process.

Why Combine the Tummy Tuck with Liposuction?

There are a number of advantages to the drainless tummy tuck, but one of the primary ones is that it allows you to enjoy the benefits of the traditional tummy tuck along with the advantages of liposuction.

Here it’s important to note that traditional tummy tucks are a little bit limited in how they allow the surgeon to address excess fat and tissue. By adding liposuction to the procedure, your surgeon can do quite a bit more to address fat and sagging skin at the same time, significantly enhancing your results.

The other big advantage to combining the tummy tuck with liposuction is that it allows for a much smoother and easier recovery process. Specifically, patients don’t have to worry about things like measuring a fluid output or cleaning out their drains. What’s more, the drainless tummy tuck recovery time is usually shorter and easier than the recovery time for a traditional abdominoplasty procedure.

Recovering from a Drainless Tummy Tuck

We’ve mentioned a couple of times now that the drainless tummy tuck comes with a shorter and smoother recovery process. With that said, what should patients expect following their procedure?

The specifics of the drainless tummy tuck recovery can vary from patient to patient, but here are some general guidelines.

  • While you won’t require drains, you will likely need to wear a compression garment, which helps minimize your swelling and expedite your recovery. You’ll likely need to wear the compression garment for a handful of weeks.
  • A tummy tuck is a major procedure, and your body will need time to rest and heal. Lay low for a few days. Most patients feel ready to resume their normal daily activities in one to two weeks.
  • Your surgeon will let you know when you are cleared to resume exercise, heavy lifting, and other strenuous activities. Most of the time, you can resume these activities within a month of your tummy tuck.
  • Due to the swelling and bruising, you may not get a good glimpse of your final tummy tuck results right away. However, most patients see gradual results over the first few weeks of recovery. You should have a very clear picture of your new, contoured physique within eight weeks, at the most.
  • While you can anticipate a little bit of tenderness and discomfort following your tummy tuck, your surgeon can use long-lasting medications, like Exparel, to minimize the pain. Prescription pain medications may also be used as needed, but many of our patients say that they don’t need them. Over-the-counter remedies are also useful.

Is the Procedure Right for You?

If you have been contemplating a tummy tuck but hesitate due to the nature of the recovery process, you may be a good candidate for a drainless procedure.

And if you have been searching for a way to eliminate excess, saggy skin, particularly from your belly and lower abdomen, then a tummy tuck could be just the right approach.

The best way to determine whether you are a good candidate for a safe and successful tummy tuck, drainless or otherwise, is to schedule a consultation with one of our surgeons. Generally, the best candidates for a tummy tuck meet the following criteria:

  • Have reached a manageable body weight.
  • Practice good nutritional habits and exercise regularly.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Do not have any underlying health conditions that would impede their healing.
  • Have spoken with a plastic surgeon and have reasonable expectations about the procedure, the recovery, and the results.

Schedule a Consultation with Charlotte Plastic Surgery

At Charlotte Plastic Surgery, we are pleased to provide our patients with plenty of options for gaining a toned, contoured physique. That includes the drainless tummy tuck.

To find out more about the procedure, or to learn more about your eligibility, we recommend meeting with one of our providers. Schedule a consultation by contacting Charlotte Plastic Surgery whenever you are ready.