Charles Perry, MD, Plastic Surgeon
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March 26, 2014

I’d Prefer Not To Have Drains After My Tummy Tuck Surgery…Are There Any Alternatives?

Posted by Dr. Perry in Abdominoplasty, Tummy Tuck

tummy-tuck-drain-alternativesThis is part two in our abdominoplasty blog series. Read part one of our series, “What Is A Tummy Tuck Drain? Why Is It Used?” for more information on the role drains play in the abdominoplasty recovery process.

For many patients, the placement of drains during the tummy tuck procedure is something they would avoid, if given the choice. Because drains collect fluid from the body, and in some cases help facilitate wound closure, they are usually necessary to a patient’s recovery process. However, according to our plastic surgeon, Dr. Charles Perry, advances with suture types and pain medication have helped present an alternative. We were recently able to sit down with Dr. Perry to discuss substitute methods for drains. Below are Dr. Perry’s answers to questions regarding this option offered at our Sacramento plastic surgery practice.

Q: For patients who may be uncomfortable with the idea of drains, what do you tell them?
Dr. Perry: We used to insist that they were necessary for healing. However, since using the progressive tension sutures, or quilting sutures, we now offer the abdominal surgery and other surgeries without drains for those who do not prefer drains and their management. We want the plastic surgery transformation to be comfortable and easy.

Q: How do the results compare?
Dr. Perry: Using the progressive tension sutures and EXPAREL® pain control medication, we have experienced a much easier post-operative recovery process for our patients. While it takes a little longer for the swelling and edema to resolve following the procedure, the patients really seem much happier, and their friends whom have had the surgery with drains are very envious.

Q: How does EXPAREL® work to help facilitate recovery?
Dr. Perry: EXPAREL has allowed our patients to require less post-operative pain medication. Less pain makes their experience better; less medicine allows their recovery to proceed much faster. The injections have allowed our patients to experience less constipation too.

Q: Are there any circumstances in which a patient would not be a good candidate for the alternatives?
Dr. Perry: In cases where a more extensive incision is required, such as an extended tummy tuck with liposuction or fat transfer, we have continued to use drains. Also, when doing a medial thigh lift and a tummy tuck a drain is often used.

Q: Why do you feel that offering patients an alternatives to drains is an important part of your practice?
Dr. Perry: No one likes having to have the drain removed after surgery, and no one has liked managing the drains. So far, [the alternatives] have been met with great enthusiasm. I do still offer patients a drain if they’d like their swelling reduced sooner, and most refuse this option. In this case, less is more. Less things to manage, and less things to break or go wrong following surgery.

Q: What else should patients know about progressive tension sutures and EXPAREL®?
Dr. Perry: The surgery takes longer, and this ends up costing a bit more. It does require some expertise to perform, and as such, is not for everyone or every surgeon.

Contact Chrysalis Cosmetics

For more information on tummy tuck surgery, or to schedule a private consultation with Dr. Perry, please contact Chrysalis Cosmetics today.

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