If you’re researching the prospect of a tummy tuck in Toronto, the subject of drains will likely come up. You might find conflicting opinions or descriptions of just what drains are all about. Here, we’ll shed some light on the use of surgical drains after abdominoplasty and what you need to know about them.
Toronto tummy tuck: Are you worried about drains?
Many people worry unnecessarily about the flexible tubes which can be temporarily left in place after cosmetic surgery. Lacking understanding about what they are, what they look like and feel like, may lead a person to be concerned. To explain why these devices can certainly be your friend, we’ll need to describe the process of an abdominoplasty.
A tummy tuck in Toronto is designed to repair abdominal muscles, remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen. Whenever your body’s tissues are cut or otherwise disrupted, a natural inflammatory response will bring fluid to the area along with healing components and plasma growth factors. In the case of abdominoplasty, after incisions, redraping, cutting and suturing have been completed, a small space will temporarily remain between the skin and muscle layers. Fluid related to swelling can accumulate in that space and delay healing or lead to complications.
Placing a soft, silicone drain under the skin, exiting out the side near the incision, provides a short-term route for excess fluid to take. You’ll want that waste material, including blood and inflammatory liquids, outside rather than inside of you. In the first week or so, the volume of this fluid might be much higher than your body can reabsorb on its own. Once the amount of fluid slows down, drains can be removed, and the body will naturally absorb any excess, as it does after all injuries.
How do you care for your drains?
The good news is, it’s easier than you might think. 1 or 2 clear tubes made of silicone will have a small bulb at the end of them. You’ll see lines and numbers to mark incremental fluid volumes collected in each bulb. They are roughly the size of an egg. Each of these has a small spout that can be opened. After opening the spout, measuring the contents, then pouring the fluid into the toilet, the bulb should be compressed to remove some air, and closed. This places some negative pressure on the drain and will help ensure draining throughout the day. You’ll need to measure, and empty drains a few times daily at first, then less often, until your surgeon removes them.
What activities are limited by drains?
After your tummy tuck, you’ll have activity limitations in place for your safety. These don’t have much to do with drains, but with protecting your delicate tissues, preventing swelling and pain. You’ll be asked to walk bent at the wait for the first week and to avoid any strenuous exercise that increases heart rate and blood pressure. During this time, you’ll find it most convenient to wear loose-fitting, soft pants and tops such as sweat suits. Your drains can be safety pinned to the inside of your pants, and as long as you wear stretchy, baggy clothes, this will not prohibit you from walking outside or visiting with friends and family.
When do the drains come out?
Roughly two weeks is the average time frame to have drains in after a full tummy tuck. They can come out earlier, or slightly later. The timing depends on the amount of fluid output your body produces. Everyone heals a little differently, and there are variations of normal. Keeping track of the volumes and ensuring you follow instructions regarding minimal physical activity is essential. Your surgeon will quickly and easily remove the drains in office, and most people describe this as a relief.
If you have any questions about the details of tummy tuck surgery, or you’d like to schedule a consultation, we’ll be happy to speak with you at Edelstein Cosmetic.
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