If your mommy makeover includes a tummy tuck (and most mommy makeovers do), you can expect to be wearing surgical drains (also called Jackson Pratt, or JP, drains) for about 1-3 weeks after your procedure.
Different plastic and cosmetic surgeons have different practices when it comes to these drains, but 1-3 weeks holds true for most patients. Some surgeons remove one of the two tummy tuck drains 1 week after surgery, and the second of the two drains 2-3 weeks after surgery.
If you have been doing research on mommy makeovers or the treatments that are included in this cosmetic process, then it is likely that you are familiar with the drains that may be utilized during the operation. It is natural to be concerned about how long they will be attached to your body, especially when they seem like they may be a bothersome aspect of the procedure.
What Part of a Mommy Makeover Requires Drains?
Drains may be used in a variety of surgical cases, but they are mostly used during the tummy tuck procedure. After having a tummy tuck, patients often have JP drains placed in order to reduce the likelihood of developing a fluid accumulation at the surgical site as well as the related problems.
After a tummy tuck, the surgeon will normally install two drains, which, in order to prevent further scarring, may escape the body via the transverse incision made in the lower abdomen. Before being allowed to go home after a tummy tuck, patients will be given instructions on how to properly care for their drains. You are going to be instructed on how to measure the output, how to keep a record of the measurement, and how to effectively maintain drain suction.
When Will Drains Be Removed?
After having a tummy tuck, you might expect the drainage to lessen with time. In the beginning, especially during the first few days, it will have a bloody appearance. As the bleeding stops and the old blood is drained away from the surgical site, the drainage will get darker over time. The fluid will eventually transform into omaous drainage, which will appear as a transparent yellow or yellowish-pink color.
Drains are often removed after they have drained 30 cc or fewer over the course of many days in a row. After about one week has passed after surgery, the drain with the decreased output is often removed. When it is determined that drainage has decreased to an adequate level, the second drain is often removed the following week. In some circumstances, the drains may be kept in place for an extended length of time if this is necessary.
Most mommy makeover patients will have their tummy tuck drains removed between 1 and 3 weeks after surgery, with one of the two drains used usually being removed before the second and last drain is removed.
Risks of Removing Drains Too Soon
If the drains from the tummy tuck are removed from the patient too soon, there is a greater possibility of seroma development. If a patient has had a tummy tuck, the ultrasound examination will almost certainly reveal the presence of a tiny seroma. If a seroma is clinically evident, a number of alternative treatment methods are available. If the collection is modest, it will probably go away on its own and probably won’t need any treatment. It is possible to aspirate it at the subsequent appointment if it is substantial or causes symptoms.
In the event that there are indications that a seroma may be infected, drainage will be necessary as soon as possible in addition to wound care while the healing process continues. After a tummy tuck, the use of drains in conjunction with an abdominal compression binder is an essential combination to use in order to reduce the likelihood of fluid collection at the surgical site.
While this is the worst case scenario, it’s always important to run every symptom by your surgeon to avoid any issues. During your pre-operative appointment, you and your surgeon will discuss the possibility of receiving a prescription for preventative antibiotics in the event that drains are inserted and become infected while you’re at home. You will also go over how to take care of this issue if it does arise.
Does Removing Drains Hurt?
The removal of the drain takes place in the office during a postoperative visit that is routinely scheduled. In most cases, it is a rather painless procedure. It is not necessary to use a local anesthetic during that time either. The drain is first disconnected from the suction, and then its holding stitch is undone. Patients could feel a tugging or pressing feeling during drain removal, but the procedure is often well tolerated and only takes a few seconds to finish.
Even though you will most likely have drains placed as part of the mommy makeover, and they will be in place for up to two weeks, this is a very minor price to pay for a treatment that will give you beautiful results going forward.
Your surgeon may also allow you or your significant other to remove your tummy tuck drains at home, but this is not as common of a practice as the surgeon’s office staff removing them for you.