Tummy tuck surgery is a popular way to remove excess skin and fat on the abdomen, tighten the abdominal wall, and slim the waistline. The traditional abdominoplasty has typically required placement of soft, drainage tubes under the skin and exiting small incisions during the first 1-2 weeks of recovery. This is still commonly done in order to prevent fluid buildup between tissue layers during recovery. This build up of fluid – also called a seroma – can delay healing and optimal results. A drainless tummy tuck can mean a quicker, easier recovery with less inconvenience because the technique used eliminates the need for drains. Depending on the individual case, the drain-free option may be right for you.
The progressive tension suture technique utilizes a series of carefully placed sutures to connect the tissues under the skin during a tummy tuck. This method is similar to a quilting technique and sometimes is referred to as quilted sutures. Drawing these tissues closed with multiple, progressive tension sutures allows tissues to heal without a significant amount of fluid accumulating to keeping space open.
The progressive tension suture technique, or PTS, typically takes the plastic surgeon longer to perform than a standard abdominoplasty with drains. The extra time is well worth it because of the benefits to the patient. Aside from offloading tension along the large, horizontal tummy tuck incision, PTS also allows for less discomfort and inconvenience from the drains.
Your in-person consultation will be necessary for your plastic surgeon to determine if you are a good candidate for the drainless tummy tuck technique or not. Some people are not able to choose this method because of their body type. For instance, patients who are quite thin will likely be better candidates for a traditional approach with 1 or 2 drains placed. The reason for this is that thin skin and tissue doesn’t camouflage the dimpled effect that progressive sutures can create. Each small point of tension internally, could cause a visible indent for a very thin person. Because of this factor, your plastic surgeon must examine you and discuss your expectations then discuss the possibilities as well as limitations you may have. A skilled, board certified plastic surgeon will take a surgical approach based on your unique physiology.
The drainless tummy tuck method can be appropriate for the mini, FAB or full tummy tuck procedures. Your surgeon will likely advise you to wear a compression garment or binder for at least the first few weeks of recovery, and will recommend certain activity restrictions while you are healing, up until roughly 6 weeks. The end result for most tummy tuck surgeries takes between 4-6 months.
Not all plastic surgeons offer a PTS/drainless abdominoplasty option. If you are interested in avoiding drains with your tummy tuck, book your consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who has plenty of experience in this area and find out if it is the right plan for you.
Consult With Us
Before undergoing any Plastic Surgery Canada procedure, consult an experienced and reputable Plastic Surgeon. Book your consultation at our plastic surgery clinic in Toronto by calling (416) 256-4194 or by clicking here.Contact Us