What is the Purpose of a Drainless Tummy Tuck?

By: James Nachbar, MD, FACS


A tummy tuck is a terrific way to reduce excess skin in the abdominal area – particularly after pregnancy and dramatic weight loss – as well as tighten up muscles in the stomach region for a slimmer, more toned appearance.

While various techniques can be used during tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty), a drainless procedure does not require the use of surgical drains afterward, which can be uncomfortable and inconvenient for patients.

Below, plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. James Nachbar explores the benefits of a drainless tummy tuck and how it works at Scottsdale Plastic Surgery in Scottsdale, AZ. We are proud to use advanced techniques and state-of-the-art technology to provide patients with the best possible outcomes.

Why are drains needed after a tummy tuck?

Seroma is a buildup of clear fluid that often occurs after tummy tuck surgery. Drains are usually placed during abdominoplasty so that any seroma can be removed before it has a chance to cause any problems.

While drains are generally effective, patients often find them to be inconvenient. The drains need to be worn for 2 – 3 weeks and regularly emptied. This can make it difficult to return to work and other normal activities. Drains even become infected when they are not properly cared for, which can lead to additional medical complications.

What is a drainless tummy tuck?

A no-drain tummy tuck involves special techniques, so drains are not needed after surgery. This can make the recovery process much easier for patients in Scottsdale, AZ.

Dr. Nachbar explains that performing an abdominoplasty without a drain does add 30 – 40 minutes to the procedure and is somewhat more difficult, but patients consider the results well worth it. Our process at Scottsdale Plastic Surgery involves additional sutures to support the tissue and remove the space for fluid collection.

Is a no-drain tummy tuck painful?

After abdominoplasty, patients will stay overnight at a surgery center so we can closely monitor their progress. Though you won't have drains, you may have a binder to reduce swelling and reduce unnecessary pulling on the abdominal muscles. The binder is described as comfortable and can be worn for up to five weeks or longer.

A drainless tummy tuck is no more painful than a traditional tummy tuck. In fact, Scottsdale Plastic Surgery offers a long-lasting anesthetic called EXPAREL® to reduce post-operative pain and the need for narcotics after surgery. Patients can also get out of bed and move around much sooner.

Why Scottsdale Plastic Surgery?

Dr. Nachbar did not implement drainless tummy tucks until he was sure the results from surgery were consistently safe and effective. He has now successfully performed this procedure on countless people since 2008. Our patients at Scottsdale Plastic Surgery report excellent outcomes and are thrilled that they don't have to deal with drains. We believe that our state-of-the-art techniques and commitment to patient safety sets us apart in the industry.

Learn about our no-drain tummy tuck

Drains are invasive and can be quite uncomfortable for patients. If you are considering excess skin removal around the abdomen due to pregnancy or weight loss, we urge you to find out about our no-drain tummy tuck at Scottsdale Plastic Surgery. Call to meet with Dr. James Nachbar and discover your options for abdominoplasty in Scottsdale, AZ. We frequently help patients achieve their cosmetic goals and improve their quality of life.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.