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Drainless Tummy Tucks; anyone?



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I’m interested in knowing if anyone has looked into this or had a drainless TT.

From what I have read, it reduces healing time which would be great for me and taking time off from work.

Thanks!

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3 hours ago, pssk said:

I’m interested in knowing if anyone has looked into this or had a drainless TT.

From what I have read, it reduces healing time which would be great for me and taking time off from work.

Thanks!

Yassssssss ❤ Mine was drainless

Choose a surgeon who has done A LOT of them

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Hi! I had a drainless TT that went very wrong. The fluids collected in the site, I got an infection that turned sceptic and I almost died. Emergency surgery to reopen the site one week after the initial TT, necrotic skin removed, drains put it, blood transfusion and one week in the hospital. And I had one of the "best" plastic surgeons in the city.

I would not recommend it, for obvious reasons, but "your mileage will vary."

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1 minute ago, parisshel said:

Hi! I had a drainless TT that went very wrong. The fluids collected in the site, I got an infection that turned sceptic and I almost died. Emergency surgery to reopen the site one week after the initial TT, necrotic skin removed, drains put it, blood transfusion and one week in the hospital. And I had one of the "best" plastic surgeons in the city.

I would not recommend it, for obvious reasons, but "your mileage will vary."

Oh wow! When & where was your surgery? Any more details (surgeon, infection type, wound care, etc) can help others avoid these complications ♥️

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22 minutes ago, GreenTealael said:

Oh wow! When & where was your surgery? Any more details (surgeon, infection type, wound care, etc) can help others avoid these complications ♥️

My surgery was done in Paris, France, where I live. I chose the top plastic surgeon in the city, vetted him carefully. He had done hundreds of TTs, and said that mine was the first time he'd ever had a complication. (Of course I can't check if that is true.)

The initial surgery went well and I only stayed one night in the clinic.

I started developing a fever a couple of days after the initial surgery. I called the surgeon's office and the medical secretary didn't seem alarmed about this. (I should have immediately requested to be seen...but I wasn't mobile enough at that point to get to his office. + I trusted the secretary. Big mistake on my part.)

Luckily I had visiting nurses coming to my home post op to change my dressings. It was a nurse who saw my abdominal skin turning yellowish (indicating infection) and she felt my lower abdomen which was hot. My lymph glands in my upper thighs were also enlarged and very painful; I could not sit or walk. On day six she said she suspected I had an infection. By that time I had an extremely high fever, I alternated being freezing cold and trembling to sweating so much I slipped off the hospital gurney by the time I got to the ER. They scanned me and saw all the fluids collecting in my lower abdomen...fluids that, had I had drains, would have drained out of my body and I would not have developed an infection. They got me back on the operating table immediately (I was very close to dying, with my system shutting down due to the scepsis), reopened the abdomen along the same line as the initial surgeon (so I don't have a double scar) and cleaned everything out.

After that they put in three drains, I had heavy antibiotics (they had to put in a PICC line for these). My red blood cell count was so low they had to give me 2 units of blood. Nurses cleaned my drains and changed the dressings 3 x day for a week until they deemed me healthy enough to go home.

The drainless TT relies on the surgeon's ability to do a "quilting" stitch when reattaching the inner muscles. The quilting stitch, as I understand it, makes so that Fluid can't collect. I'm not exactly sure where the fluid goes, however, as it has to go somewhere! In my case, the quilting stitch did not do the job of keeping the fluid from collecting and it just sat there inside of me with nowhere to exit. Eventually it would have probably seeped out of the wound area, bursting through my stitches.

Additionally, my surgeon did not think a compression garment was necessary. The second surgeon was astounded at both the idea of a drainless TT and lack of a compression garment.

I'm now 15 months out, and all of these complications are behind me. I love my tummy....truly a work of art. It's a firm slate, and I never get tired of looking at it. However, the aftermath was indeed traumatic and something I will never forget.

My takeaway is this: fever is NEVER normal post op. It is the first sign of infection. I should have gotten myself to either the hospital or my surgeon's office at that point.

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Posted (edited)

Thank goodness that your visiting nurse caught it!

The fluids drain through the lymph system and eventually out through the urine.

Along with my drain less TT, lymphatic massages are scheduled starting 1 day post op. There is also the use of an Abdominal binder then a compression garment. I had it performed in Miami, FL.

The binder massages & compression garments seem to be industry standard there & in Latin America whether the TT is drain less or traditional.

Glad you can enjoy the end product despite the complications

Edited by GreenTealael

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Ok...so this is what my surgeon said about drain-less tummy tucks (or any type of surgery for that matter).

According to him, generally, the thinner/smaller the person is prior to surgery, the better the candidate for a drain-less surgery (not to say that bigger people are NOT good candidates, though, just that there would be less Fluid build up in a smaller person).

He elected to put 2 drains in me because he did a little Lipo in the flank area (why lipo influenced his decision to put in drains, I don’t know, I didn’t ask). He also told me I would likely not need the drains in so very long due to my size. He was right, by Day 1 at home (Day 3 post op) my little fluid collectors were basically empty. He took them out at my next scheduled appt (Day 5 post op).

Of course there are lots of surgeons out there who do drain-less TT’s in everyone, regardless of size, and have fabulous results...this was just my surgeon’s preference.

Sorry you had the sh*tty complications :( . But im glad that you’ve put it behind you and are now properly rocking your bod ❤️

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2 hours ago, ms.sss said:

Ok...so this is what my surgeon said about drain-less tummy tucks (or any type of surgery for that matter).

According to him, generally, the thinner/smaller the person is prior to surgery, the better the candidate for a drain-less surgery (not to say that bigger people are NOT good candidates, though, just that there would be less Fluid build up in a smaller person).

He elected to put 2 drains in me because he did a little Lipo in the flank area (why Lipo influenced his decision to put in drains, I don’t know, I didn’t ask). He also told me I would likely not need the drains in so very long due to my size. He was right, by Day 1 at home (Day 3 post op) my little Fluid collectors were basically empty. He took them out at my next scheduled appt (Day 5 post op).

Of course there are lots of surgeons out there who do drain-less TT’s in everyone, regardless of size, and have fabulous results...this was just my surgeon’s preference.

Sorry you had the sh*tty complications :( . But im glad that you’ve put it behind you and are now properly rocking your bod ❤️

Yes, I had also read that there is a correlation between higher-weight TT patients and fluid-related complications. (I had forgotten about that until I read your post.) I think, given my weight, my surgeon should have inserted drains as a precaution. I also had lipo; I forgot to mention that.

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3 hours ago, GreenTealael said:

Thank goodness that your visiting nurse caught it!

The fluids drain through the lymph system and eventually out through the urine.

Along with my drain less TT, lymphatic massages are scheduled starting 1 day post op. There is also the use of an Abdominal binder then a compression garment. I had it performed in Miami, FL.

The binder massages & compression garments seem to be industry standard there & in Latin America whether the TT is drain less or traditional.

Glad you can enjoy the end product despite the complications

Thanks. I meant to say Abdominal binder and not compression garment. How quickly I've forgotten all the aftermath of this surgery!

Thanks for explaining how the Fluid gets released.

Good information on the lymphatic massages. I do these from time to time, especially for my legs because the TT disrupted my lymph system (but things are reknitting themselves even now) and I get a lot more fluid build up in my legs.

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