Why is the No-Drain / Drainless Tummy Tuck Better?

By: James Nachbar, MD, FACS


What Is the No-Drain / Drainless tummy Tuck?

The No-Drain /Drainless Tummy Tuck is a better technique for abdominal contouring that has gained popularity in recent years. Unlike traditional tummy tuck procedures, which require the use of drains to remove excess fluid and prevent complications, the No-Drain Tummy Tuck eliminates the need for drains altogether. This procedure offers several benefits, including a shorter recovery time and reduced discomfort for patients.

How does it work?

During a traditional tummy tuck, excess skin and fat are removed from the abdomen, the abdominal muscle is usually tightened to reduce the bulging, and the remaining skin is pulled taut and sutured in place. In this process, a space is created between the muscle and fascia below and the skin and fat above.  This space can allow fluid buildup in the area. To prevent this fluid from accumulating, surgeons place drains in the surgical site to allow the fluid to drain out of the body.

The no-drain tummy tuck technique is different. Instead of using drains to remove excess fluid, Dr. Nachbar eliminates the space where a fluid collection could occur, by placing a large number of  progressive tension sutures to reduce the tension on the skin as well as eliminate the space where a fluid collection might accumulate.

What are the benefits of a no-drain tummy tuck?

1. Reduced discomfort: With a no-drain / drainless tummy tuck, patients experience less discomfort and pain because there are no drains that can irritate the surgical area or cause discomfort.

2. Shorter recovery time: Patients who undergo a no-drain tummy tuck typically experience a shorter recovery time because they do not have to worry about managing drains or undergoing drain removal procedures.

3. Reduced risk of complications: By eliminating the need for drains, the risk of infection, scarring, or other complications is significantly reduced. Patients are also less likely to develop seromas, which are pockets of fluid that can form under the skin after surgery.

4. Better cosmetic results: The no-drain tummy tuck technique can help produce better cosmetic results, as it allows for a smoother, more natural-looking abdominal contour with less tension on the skin closure, and thus less potential disruption of the incision closure.

Who is a good candidate for a no-drain tummy tuck?

Almost everyone who is a good candidate for a tummy tuck is a better candidate for a no-drain / drainless tummy tuck, as long as their surgeon is very experienced with the no-drain / drainless tummy tuck technique.  Although I have heard surgeons who are not familiar with the no-drain tummy tuck say that you cannot use the no-drain technique along with liposuction, Dr. Nachbar often combines liposuction with the no-drain technique.  Even patients who need a circumferential / 360 tummy tuck can have a no-drain procedure.

However, it is important that your surgeon is very comfortable with the no-drain tummy tuck technique, as there is a significant learning curve to learning how to use the no-drain technique.  Dr. Nachbar has been using the no-drain / drainless tummy tuck technique for all of his tummy tucks since 2008.

In conclusion, the no-drain tummy tuck is a better technique that offers several benefits to patients looking to achieve a smoother, more contoured abdominal area. If you are considering this procedure, it is crucial to consult with a qualified plastic surgeon, very experienced with the no-drain / drainless tummy tuck procedure, who can help determine if it is right for you. As with any surgical procedure, there are risks and potential complications associated with a no-drain tummy tuck, and it is important to weigh these risks against the potential benefits before making a decision.

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