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No Drain Tummy Tuck Surgery (Full, Mini, or Extended Abdominoplasty) – Scottsdale, AZ

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Drainless Tummy Tuck Video

No-Drain Tummy Tuck - Dr. James Nachbar

About No-Drain Tummy Tuck

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Since May, 2008, I have been using a no-drain (or "drainless") method for abdominoplasty. This is a technique that has been developed over the past few years. I personally did not want to start using it on my patients until I believed that it had been thoroughly tested. However, it has been a significant advance and has led to both improved results and significantly greater comfort.

The drain or drains had been probably the greatest source of discomfort, and being able to eliminate the need for a drain reduces the discomfort.

Doing abdominoplasty without a drain is somewhat more difficult, and probably adds about 30 - 45 minutes to the procedure, but is very much worth it. It involves placement of a number of additional sutures to support the flap of tissue in its new location, hold the umbilical (belly-button) scar inside the umbilicus for a better-looking belly button, and eliminate the space for fluid collection under the flap.

We can reduce the post-operative pain by both eliminating the use of a drain (and thus eliminating the pain associated with the tube coming out of your abdomen for several weeks), as well as the use of non-opioid EXPAREL®, a long-lasting anesthetic that we use to reduce the need for narcotics and get you out of bed after surgery much more quickly.

Ideal Candidates for drainless

Abdominoplasty can be effective for both women and men. There is no diet or exercise that will reduce the bulging or sagging skin.  Indeed, patients who have lost a great deal of weight may develop excess skin that can respond nicely to the No-Drain Tummy Tuck.

The ideal candidate for No-Drain Tummy Tuck is one with excess skin and/or bulging of the abdominal area, often from pregnancy or weight fluctuations.  It is not a surgery that will produce weight loss.

If most of the looseness is below the belly-button, you might consider what is sometimes called a "Mini" Tummy Tuck, which tightens only the skin and muscle below the belly-button, and does not produce any scar at the belly-button.

A more complete Tummy Tuck, addressing the muscle and skin above and below the belly-button, is appropriate for more women than the lower abdominal procedure.

If you have significant looseness in the outer abdomen or the sides, you might consider a more extended procedure, such an Extended or Circumferential Tummy Tuck.

Finally, for patients with just some excess subcutaneous fat in the abdominal area, without a lot of skin looseness or muscle bulging, liposuction may be a good option.

Women considering Abdominoplasty / No-Drain Tummy Tuck should not be planning a pregnancy soon, since a subsequent pregnancy may stretch out the tummy again.  However, it is not dangerous to have a pregnancy after Tummy Tuck, and women who are not planning pregnancy for a number of years, but who may not be finished having children, may benefit from a Tummy Tuck.

no-drain Surgical Technique

Abdominoplasty / No-Drain Tummy Tuck is performed at an accredited surgery center under general anesthesia by a physician anesthesiologist.

Dr. Nachbar has used the No-Drain method for all of his Abdominoplasty procedures since 2008. Although it is more difficult than a Tummy Tuck using a drain, avoiding the drain not only eliminates all of the pain associated with the drain being in place for several weeks, and then the pain associated with removing the drain, using the No-Drain technique virtually eliminates seroma formation, which is the most common complication of abdominoplasty in the published studies.

Dr. Nachbar also uses EXPAREL® with the Tummy Tuck to further significantly reduce the discomfort following the No-Drain Tummy Tuck.

Before your abdominoplasty, we will determine the extent of the abdominoplasty needed.   The more extensive the procedure, the larger the scar, but the more improvement that can be achieved.

Those with some bulging and excess skin in the lower abdomen, but not the upper abdomen, may benefit from a procedure that only addresses the lower abdominal skin and muscle, without making an incision, and thus a scar, around the belly button.  This is often combined with liposuction, which allows removal of some fat in the upper abdomen without large scars.

Those with some looseness in the upper abdomen as well will likely want to do a more complete abdominoplasty, which involves freeing the skin around the belly-button, tightening the muscle up to the breastbone, and removing the excess skin and re-insetting the belly-button through a new opening in the skin.  Depending on how much excess skin is present, this may allow us to remove the skin where the umbilicus had been, but if not, it will also produce a vertical scar below the belly-button.

With excess tissue in the outer abdomen, sides, and back, the Extended or Circumferential Abdominoplasty may be the best approach, and will allow the most improvement.  This is most often needed in patients who have gone through significant weight loss.

Finally, patients with the most skin, with cascading folds of skin in front, may want a "fleur de lis" Abdominoplasty, which adds a vertical scar up the middle of the tummy.  While this is an extra scar, patients with this much extra skin are often satisfied with the longer scar because of the improvement that the fleur de lis Abdominplasty produces.

What to Expect

Following this procedure, for all Tummy Tuck patients other than those with tightening limited to the area below the belly-button, you will stay overnight at the surgery center, both for comfort, to make sure you can urinate properly, and also so the nurses can help you start moving, since it is very important to walk short distances frequently to reduce the risk of complications.

You will have a binder over your tummy, both to reduce swelling and also to reduce pulling on the tightened abdominal muscles, which can be uncomfortable.  You may use the binder for as long as you want, but most patients find it helpful for the first four or five weeks.

You are encouraged to get out of bed every few hours while awake, to get the blood moving in your legs.  With the No-Drain Tummy Tuck, especially with EXPAREL®, about half of our patients are driving within the first week, and the rest typically will be driving by two weeks.  However, you must not drive until you are completely off all narcotic pain medication, and are in complete control of the vehicle, including handling emergencies while driving.

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Attain a Tighter Tummy

Many factors can lead to a stretched-out tummy, creating hanging folds of skin. We know it can be almost impossible to correct with diet and exercise — abdominoplasty is generally the best way to overcome this.

If you are embarrassed by the hanging skin or bulging in your abdomen, no matter how minimal or severe, No-Drain Tummy Tuck by Dr. Nachbar in Scottsdale, AZ can allow you to get the look you desire. Please contact Dr. Nachbar at Scottsdale Plastic Surgery to learn more.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.