5 Questions to Consider Before Getting a No-Drain Tummy Tuck
What Are the Benefits of a No-Drain Tummy Tuck?
Some patients report added discomfort from the placement or an additional rubbing sensation. Others find emptying the drains distasteful.
The no-drain tummy tuck eliminates these issues.
What Are the Downsides of a No-Drain Tummy Tuck?
It sounds counter-intuitive, but recovery and healing can actually take longer with no-drain tummy tucks.
Another downside is the higher risk of developing a condition called a seroma - a collection of fluid that can occur when an area of tissue is disrupted.
In a traditional tummy tuck, adding a drain after surgery helps prevent seromas from forming. If you undergo a no-drain tummy tuck, there is a slightly higher risk of fluid collecting internally. If a seroma forms, your surgeon will have to drain the area with a syringe.
While a seroma is not the end of the world and is easily treatable, it is something the traditional tummy tuck largely avoids.
How Much Does a No-Drain Tummy Tuck Cost?
Performing a no-drain tummy tuck adds to the operation time, so the cost will probably be slightly higher. The price for a tummy tuck without drains can range from $8,000 to $20,000.
Variables include your location, the skill of your surgeon, and the type of facility. If you’re interested, most plastic surgeons offer financing options or payment plans.
Make sure to ask the office billing specialist for details.
What Is Recovery Like?
Any tummy tuck procedure will have a recovery period. Your surgeon will prescribe medications to help manage pain, but you’ll need to take it easy for a while.
Expect to avoid strenuous activity for six weeks. While the recovery period can seem lengthy, most patients feel completely back to normal after 3-6 months.
Eliminating drains has little to no impact on healing.
What Should I Ask My Plastic Surgeon?
You should note that a good surgeon can place drains to expedite healing and then remove the drains after about a week, often with little or no discomfort. While the drains are a mild nuisance, they do help reduce swelling and speed up recovery.
If you’re considering a no drain tummy tuck, please consult your surgeon before you make a decision.
Be sure to ask the following questions:
- What are your thoughts on the no-drain tummy tuck?
- Do you generally use drains when you perform a tummy tuck?
- Why or why not?
While most skilled plastic surgeons can perform a no-drain tummy tuck, the most reliable method still employs the use of drains. Doctors who advertise no-drain tummy tucks as a “better” option do so primarily for marketing purposes.
None of this is meant to discourage you from seeking out a no-drain tummy tuck if you strongly prefer not having the drains. However, we recommend talking it over with your surgeon before making final decisions. They will help you identify the best choice for your unique needs.
What To Do Next
A tummy tuck is a wonderful procedure. While eliminating the use of drains during the healing process may sound appealing, this should be a minor consideration.
Can the drains be a nuisance? Yes — a mild one — but they're temporary and serve an important purpose.
Your most important concern should be to find a skilled, experienced surgeon. Together, you can discuss whether or not a no drain tummy tuck is right for you.
Dr. Larry Fan is a Harvard-educated plastic surgeon based in San Francisco. Renowned for his artistic eye and dedication to providing natural results, Dr. Fan treats patients from all over the country. If you're ready to consider a tummy tuck, schedule a free consultation today. You can also take our online self-assessment quiz to see if you're a good candidate for a tummy tuck.