American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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How a drainless tummy tuck packs a double punch


A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures for both women and men. Whether you've lost a significant amount of weight, had children or simply can't seem to achieve your fitness goals through diet and exercise alone, a tummy tuck might be an appropriate solution for you.

However, not all tummy tucks are performed using the same technique. In many cases, a drainless tummy tuck, which also includes liposuction, can offer the most comprehensive results and least complicated recovery.

What is a drainless tummy tuck?

A drainless tummy tuck essentially combines liposuction with a traditional tummy tuck using a specific layered suturing technique that eliminates the need for postsurgical drains.

The first step is to use liposuction to remove isolated areas of stubborn fat in the abdominal area. This helps to better tone and sculpt abdominal contours while minimizing the amount of surgical intervention that is needed to achieve your goals.

Next, an incision will be made along your abdomen, through which your plastic surgeon can tighten and remove loose skin and muscle tissue. Multiple layers of sutures will then be used, which negates the need for post-op drains.

The benefits of combining liposuction and a tummy tuck

There are a variety of benefits to working with a plastic surgeon who offers the drainless tummy tuck technique. First, since this procedure combines liposuction with a tummy tuck, excess fat and loose skin can be addressed at the same time. Traditional abdominoplasty, on the other hand, offers a limited amount of correction for subcutaneous fat.

The other major benefit of a drainless tummy tuck is that the recovery process is generally much less complicated than that of a traditional procedure. With a drainless tummy tuck, you won't have to worry about measuring fluid output or emptying a drain while you recover. For most people, the recovery after a drainless tummy tuck is shorter than with a regular tummy tuck, and the scar tends to heal more smoothly as well.

What to expect after your drainless tummy tuck

After your drainless tummy tuck, you should expect to wear a compression garment for a few weeks to help manage swelling and expedite the healing process. Most people are able to return to light daily actives within 1 to 2 weeks after their procedure. As long as your job isn't very physically demanding, you can expect to get back to your normal work schedule around this time as well.

Over the next several weeks, you should begin to notice gradual improvements to your body contours, with your final results being visible in about 6 to 8 weeks. Provided you stick to your healthy diet and exercising habits once you've fully recovered from your drainless tummy tuck, you should be able to enjoy the same great results for years to come.

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