Will the Healing Process of a Drainless Tummy Tuck Take Longer?

By: James Nachbar, MD, FACS


There’s no question that one of the most cumbersome and limiting aspects of traditional tummy tuck recovery is the use of drains. With tummy tuck drains in place for several weeks, patients often require additional time off work and constantly feel anxious or worried about hiding their drains, emptying their drains, or inadvertently pulling a drain out. But tummy tuck drains aren’t always necessary – and patients can still achieve equally stunning and long-lasting results without them – not to mention a quicker and more comfortable recovery period. At Scottsdale Plastic Surgery, double board-certified Scottsdale, AZ plastic surgeon James Nachbar has been performing the drainless tummy tuck since 2008, helping men and women achieve their ideal figures without the hindrance of postoperative drains. Here, we’ll compare the recovery process of a drainless tummy tuck to a traditional tummy tuck to help you better understand the exciting and compelling benefits that a no-drain abdominoplasty may have to offer you.

What is a drainless tummy tuck?

Also referred to as a no-drain tummy tuck, the drainless tummy tuck is an abdominoplasty technique that does not require the use of surgical drains. In a traditional tummy tuck, a surgeon typically places drains in certain areas to prevent fluid buildup beneath the repositioned tissue flaps. These drains are left in place for several weeks after surgery, with patients having a tube and drainage bulb hanging from their midsection. Patients are responsible for emptying their tummy tuck drains at regular intervals and must take great care not to pull on the drains or get them “hung” on something, like a doorknob.

In a drainless tummy tuck, Dr. Nachbar employs a more time-consuming and precise method to get rid of the empty space where fluid would build up in the abdomen – thereby obviating the need for postoperative drains. Despite the additional 30 – 45 minutes this approach takes, the benefits are considered well worth it.

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

Some of the most compelling benefits of a drainless tummy tuck include:

  • More comfortable recovery
  • No need to empty drains
  • Fewer postoperative visits
  • No risk of pulling out drains
  • Lower risk of postoperative complications
  • More attractive appearance of belly button
  • No need to conceal drains
  • Potentially shorter overall recovery

Drainless tummy tuck recovery vs. regular tummy tuck recovery

While the general recovery timeframe of a drainless tummy tuck is similar to that of a standard tummy tuck, many patients are able to return to driving, working, and other activities sooner and more comfortably. For example, patients with tummy tuck drains may feel self-conscious about returning to work and having to hide and empty their drains while at the office. With a no-drain tummy tuck, patients can confidently return to the office sooner.

Additionally, Dr. Nachbar is proud to utilize the non-narcotic EXPAREL® anesthetic, which dramatically reduces the need for narcotic pain medication during recovery – something that also allows patients to resume their normal daily activities sooner.

Enjoy the speediest, most comfortable, and most convenient recovery possible with a drainless tummy tuck in Scottsdale, AZ

If the thought of spending two weeks connected to drainage tubes has turned you off the idea of getting a tummy tuck, you may be excited to learn more about the benefits of drainless abdominoplasty. With nearly 15 years of experience performing no-drain tummy tucks, double board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. James Nachbar is committed to making your experience as comfortable, swift, and successful as possible. For more information on the stunning results that can be achieved with a drainless tummy tuck, check out these no-drain tummy tuck before-and-after photos and call Scottsdale Plastic Surgery to schedule your consultation today.

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