The tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, offers both men and women the chance to tighten, tone, and define the abdominal wall in one easy procedure. In 2018, over 130,000 Americans chose to re-establish the smooth, tight stomach they had earlier in life.
The traditional tummy tuck involves drains intended to carry fluid build-up resulting from the surgery away from the surgical site, which some find to be inconvenient.
Additional steps undertaken during surgery (outlined below) can eliminate the need for drainage tubes. Improving upon traditional methods, this technique not only provides comprehensive results but more mobility and no drainage tube care.
Plastic Surgery Center of Nashville is one of the few board-certified plastic surgery clinics in Tennessee offering our patients the “drainless tummy tuck.”
Continue reading to learn more about the careful execution of the drainless tummy tuck at The Plastic Surgery Center of Nashville. You can also check out our tummy tuck procedure page here, which mostly covers the traditional tummy tuck. Still, there you’ll find helpful youtube videos on our best tummy tuck candidates, information on exercising post-procedure, and a podcast on the intricacies of tummy tucks.
If you have specific questions about your situation and the drainless tummy tuck, don’t hesitate to call 615-467-6777.
Best Candidates for Tummy Tuck
The tummy tuck is an excellent solution for those who have been striving to achieve fitness goals but are hitting a dead-end. Even with a strict diet and exercise regimens, the abdominal wall can be a particularly stubborn area to eliminate unwanted fat.
You may also be facing “diastasis recti” where left and right abdominal muscles separate, allowing stomach and bowels to flow forward. When this occurs in pregnant women (as it often does), the muscle opening can shrink back after delivery. However, it often leaves too many moms with a pronounced “pooch.”
Today’s men, too, are seeking tummy tucks. Often pairing this procedure with gynecomastia (male breast reduction), men are recapturing the physiques they enjoyed decades before.
Finally, those who have stuck to strict diet regimens to lose significant weight often seek a tummy tuck. Still, most candidates should be very near their goal weight before opting for a tummy tuck.
The Intricacies of the “Drainless” Technique
In the traditional tummy tuck, the skin is stitched together only at the incision. Under the skin the fat layer slides over the muscle layer, which causes the fluid build-up that must be drained away.
With the drainless tummy tuck, the surgeon uses extra dissolvable quilting sutures to append the fat layer to the muscle layer, preventing this sliding. The entire area is more stable while it heals and knits together again. Further, these extra stitches put less pressure on the single, initial incision that runs from hip to hip. The resulting stability subjects the main incision to less tension, ensuring a less noticeable, better-looking scar. A more stable incision reduces the chance of “dehiscence” or separation, a rare complication.
Patients will experience greater comfort and forego the need to look after a drainage tube and fluid container during healing, which can be painful, and if mismanaged lead to scarring or infection.
Traditional or “Drainless,” the Tummy Tuck Has Many Benefits
The tummy tuck corrects loose skin, excess fat, and muscle laxity. The results are dramatic, and our patients consistently report they feel more confident at work, the beach and while trying on flattering clothing. On RealSelf, the medical procedure review website, the tummy tuck earns a 97 percent “Worth It” rating, one of the highest ratings of all plastic and cosmetic surgery procedures.
But the tummy tuck offers more than cosmetic benefits. By tightening the abdominal muscles which support the back, tummy tucks often decrease chronic back pain and improve the comfort of working out. Many patients find urinary incontinence is alleviated as well.
What Sets the Drainless Tummy Tuck Apart?
1. Comfortable, Easy Recovery
By using a progressive tension technique to suture muscle and fat layers together, your surgeon eliminates space where fluid gathers. As such, you will not have to deal with the painful and lengthy process of using a drainage tube to collect and removes these fluids while the fat and muscle heal and re-attach.
2. Minimizing Seroma Risk
Although the tube and drains utilized in traditional tummy tucks are intended to prevent seromas (pockets of fluid build-up), they aren’t always successful.
By eliminating the space where fluid builds up, patients who receive drainless tummy tucks reduce their chances of developing seromas to less than one percent.
Less Downtime Means More Living
Securely attaching the muscle and skin tissues kick starts your body’s healing process. Patients have increased mobility without worry and discomfort during the early part of recovery. In some cases, people return to regular activities sooner than with the traditional tuck procedure.
Why Combine a Tummy Tuck with Liposuction
The drainless tummy tuck technique offers a variety of benefits for patients. Combining liposuction with a tummy tuck means patients can address loose skin and excess fat in one procedure. With traditional abdominoplasty, there is a limited amount of correction possible for subcutaneous fat.
Drainless Tummy Tuck FAQ:
Can I combine a drainless tummy tuck with other procedures?
The drainless tummy tuck is often included as apart of our mommy makeover, which usually involves some additional body contouring. Many moms also choose to add on labiaplasty surgery or breast enhancing procedures such as breast augmentation, breast lift, or reduction.
The tummy tuck or mommy makeover works very nicely with others, and many patients opt to include liposuction, thigh lift, body lift, and brachioplasty (aka an arm lift). Depending on your individual needs and anatomy, facial and neck rejuvenation procedures can be performed simultaneously as well.
During your consultation, your surgeon will discuss all of the options available and make the final decision to ensure your safety and ideal outcomes for your situation.
What is the drainless tummy tuck recovery process like?
After your drainless tummy tuck, you will need to wear compression garments or clothing for a few weeks, this expedites the healing process.
For one to two weeks after the surgery, it is essential to rest and stay away from strenuous physical activities involving overexertion. Most patients can return to light activity within a week. For ideal results, we recommend patients follow an exercise routine and maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
How long do tummy tuck results last?
Provided you stick to your routine of exercise and healthy eating, the results should last for years.
How long does the procedure take?
Each patient is unique, but generally, the procedure lasts less than three hours.
What are the risks?
As with any surgery, the drainless tummy tuck comes with some risk of infection, seroma, blood clots, abnormal reaction to anesthesia or other medications used during the procedure, and delayed healing. During your consultation and throughout the surgical and recovery process, every patient is carefully screened for increased risks.
We will be sure you have all the necessary information for a quick as possible, complication-free recovery.
Schedule a Consultation Today to Learn More
The Plastic Surgery Center of Nashville is proud to offer this breakthrough in surgical technique to ensure a comfortable, easy tummy tuck experience. Since not every patient will be a candidate for the drainless tummy tuck, it is best to schedule a consulation with one of our Board Certified Plastic Surgeons to see if this procedure is right for you. Contact us today online or call our office at 615-467-6777. We look forward to hearing from you!