A tummy tuck is a transformational surgery that can have lasting results. Many people struggle with excess skin and stubborn fat in the abdomen after pregnancy or weight loss. A tummy tuck can restore your figure and define the contours of the body. A drainless tummy tuck can help you achieve dramatic results using a slightly different technique. Follow these simple tips to ease discomfort and support healing during your drainless tummy tuck recovery.
What is a Drainless Tummy Tuck?
The procedure of a drainless and standard tummy tuck is the same. Your surgeon will remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen and tighten the underlying muscles. In a standard tummy tuck, your surgeon would attach post-surgical drains to drain fluid from the body. Fluid can gather at the surgical site, and the drains take that fluid away from the body. Usually, patients need to wear these drains for 5-7 days. You could have one or two drains after a tummy tuck.
As the name suggests, a drainless tummy tuck requires no drains after the surgery. So, both procedures are performed the same way until you reach the suturing stage. With a drainless tummy tuck, your surgeon uses a specialist suturing technique. The sutures are layered in a unique way that doesn’t require drains.
What are The Pros and Cons of a Drainless Tummy Tuck?
If you are deciding between a traditional tummy tuck and a drainless tummy tuck, it’s important to understand both sides of the procedure. Here are the pros and cons of a drainless tummy tuck.
The procedure eliminates the need for drains during recovery. By eliminating drains, the healing process is much smoother. The procedure also eliminates the process of measuring outgoing fluid and emptying drains. As a result, a drainless tummy tuck recovery is much shorter. Without drains, the risk of infection also reduces.
You will still have to wear a compression garment while recovering to promote healing and reduce swelling. Most tummy tuck patients can return to light desk work after a week or two. When recovering from a drainless tummy tuck, avoid heavy lifting and only stick to light, less strenuous activities.
While the benefits of drainless tummy tuck procedures are many, there is one main disadvantage. Since the surgery requires no drains during recovery, it is more complex, requiring a little more time in the operating room.
During the procedure, the surgeon must remove the space between your abdominal wall and the overlying fat and skin. This way, you won’t need post-surgical drains. So, you will be in surgery slightly longer, but the recovery will be more straightforward without the need for drains.
How Long Does it Take to Recover from a Drainless Tummy Tuck?
A massive benefit of a drainless tummy procedure is that you don’t need any drains after the operation. The measuring and emptying of the fluid from the drains can be fiddly for patients. Most patients can return to light activities in 1 or 2 weeks. You can see the final results in about 6-8 weeks. Recovery, however, varies from one person to another.
After the surgery, you will need to wear a compression garment to minimise swelling and support healing. A tummy tuck is generally a major procedure, and you will need plenty of time to rest and heal.
The first few days are crucial and will be the most difficult and painful. Your surgeon will have prescribed pain medication to take during this time. After a week or two, most people feel ready to resume normal activities. Your plastic surgeon will tell you when to resume heavy lifting, exercise and other more strenuous activities.
Typically, you should be able to resume such activities within a month following your procedure. Because of all the bruising and swelling, the results won’t be visible right away. The swelling and bruising should go away in the next couple of weeks, after which you will now have a better picture of the final result.
4 Tips to Ease Discomfort During Your Drainless Tummy Tuck Recovery
Whether you’re getting breast augmentation or liposuction, recovery is a crucial part of any cosmetic procedure. To help ease discomfort and promote healing, here are four tips to maximise your recovery time.
1. Follow Your Surgeon’s Pre and Post-Op Instructions
Much of your recovery time is dependent on preparing yourself for recovery. Your surgeon will give you instructions to follow before and after your procedure. It’s incredibly important that you follow your surgeon’s instructions closely; what you do before and after matters so much in your recovery. Knowing what medications you can and can’t take, not smoking or drinking before the surgery, and setting up your recovery space are all critical in optimising your recovery.
2. Don’t Stress the Incision Site
After your surgery, don’t stress or put pressure on the incision site. That means that you shouldn’t be lifting heavy weights or children for 4-6 weeks. Avoid lifting anything over 10lbs. Be mindful and take care when moving not to stress the sutures. You also need to avoid bending or stretching at the incision site because this can cause the wound to reopen.
3. Wear Your Compression Garment
Although the recovery time requires no drains, you will need to wear your compression garment. The garment promotes healing and reduces swelling. You can expect to wear a compression garment for several weeks.
4. Follow a Healthy Diet
As with any operation, your body must get all the nutrients it needs to heal. Make sure to follow a healthy diet with plenty of proteins, minerals, and vitamins after the procedure.
A drainless tummy tuck is ideal for those who would prefer a drainless recovery. If you are considering a tummy tuck, your surgeon can discuss all available options with you to help you make an informed decision. If you are thinking about getting a drainless tummy tuck, book a consultation today at the Harley Clinic, London.