– What is the purpose of drains after tummy tuck? Drains are placed to reduce fluid accumulation at the surgical site. They may reduce the incidence of seromas (fluid collections) and resultant complications following tummy tuck. Drains also indicate the amount of bleeding that is occurring during early healing.
Tummy tuck drains remain for 5-7 days after the surgery. Most patients need 2 weeks of time off work to recover. Dr. Rochlin will provide instructions on how to keep the drain tubes clean and empty the fluids, which accumulate into a bulb that's emptied a few times a day.
One of the most significant risks of removing your tummy tuck surgery drains too early is infection. Any time a wound is left open and exposed to bacteria, an infection can quickly set in. This may lead to increased pain and swelling and changes to the appearance of the scar.
Drains and the abdominal compression binder are an important combination to lower risk of fluid accumulation at the surgical site after tummy tuck.
A seroma is a collection of fluid that builds up under the skin near the surgical site or where tissue was removed. This clear-yellow fluid is part of your body's natural response to healing and may occur a few days to several weeks after surgery.
A ballpark is 30mL of drainage or less over a few consecutive 24 hour periods. Generally the first drain is removed one week post-operatively and the second drain shortly thereafter when appropriate levels have been reached.
A mild amount of drainage from the incision is normal. If the drainage fluid is thin, watery, and pinkish red, there is likely nothing to be concerned about. However, there are instances in which you should be concerned about drainage from your incision.
Your surgeon will usually remove the bulb when drainage is below 25 ml per day for two days in a row. On average, JP drains can continue to drain for 1 to 5 weeks. Keep a log and bring it to the clinic for discussion so your surgical team can determine the best time to remove the drain.
Abnormal wound drainage is when the discharge is thick, bloody, or has a milky white, yellow, green, gray, or brown color (often with a foul smell). Abnormal wound drainage should be seen by your surgeon or healthcare provider without delay.
Sanguineous Wound Drainage
This type of drainage is a normal part of the inflammatory phase of wound healing, but it should lessen considerably over time and stop after a few hours in most instances. In some deeper wounds, sanguineous wound drainage may continue for a few days but should distinctly lessen in volume.
Moderate Drainage is anything between 25% and 75% saturation, indicative by soaked dressings. Copious Drainage is the most severe type of drainage, classified by 75% or more saturation. This level of drainage is almost always serious and requires medical attention.
The for each drain will need to be emptied several times a day. Most surgeons patients to measure how much fluid is being expunged from the body and will provide a method for patients to track that amount. The fluid is likely to be yellow, red, or brown, and even have some solid pieces in it.
As the wound heals, there will be other fluids that might appear as well. You may notice clear fluid or fluid with a pink or yellow tint draining from the broken skin or the surgical site if you had an operation. These are part of the healing process that your body deploys when you get injured.
A wound that's healing can produce a clear or pink fluid. An infected wound can produce a yellowish, bad-smelling fluid called pus. When fluid seeps from a wound, it is called wound drainage.
It's common to have small amounts of fluid drain or ooze from a scrape. This oozing usually clears up gradually and stops within 4 days. Drainage is not a concern as long as there are no signs of infection.
Continuous serous drainage may be a sign that there are high levels of bacteria living on the surface of the wound. In these cases, the body is producing extra serum to try and combat the bacteria. Anyone experiencing excessive serous drainage should see a doctor.
A large amount of drainage can indicate infection, whereas a reduction in the amount of drainage can indicate an infection that is resolving or inadequate arterial circulation. The presence and degree of odor can be documented as absent, mild, or foul. Foul odors can be indicative of an infection.
Surgical wound drainage is recognized as a key element in facilitating the healing process. Wound drainage systems are designed to allow enough moisture to remain in tissues to promote regeneration and lessen inflammation, while removing excess exudate or material that may hamper the healing process.
Pus appears in a surgical incision when it is becoming infected. It's a sign that you need further treatment. Surgical infections can become serious quickly, so if you see pus call your surgeon at once.
Dress the wound with sterile, absorbent, non-sticky bandages, and then wrap your limb with short-stretch compression bandages. With this added pressure, the leaking should stop within one or two days.
A non-adherent, absorbent sterile dressing should be applied to the leaking area to prevent further trauma to the skin – and to absorb the leakage. Pressure is the key to stop lymphorrhea. This may be in the form of bandaging, compression garments or wraps. The choice will depend on how much leakage occurs.