Drain in Abdominoplasty
The great abdominoplasty complications on the part of patients, because of the discomfort, the much talked about drain, which we use postoperatively, often hated by patients, can really make a big difference in healing, despite this discomfort of having it hanging out, and it is important that patients get out of bed, move around and take the drain for a walk, because it is important, but why is it important.
What care do we have to take with the drain?
How does the drain work?The drain is a rigid silicone tube that stays in the subcutaneous tissue, between the muscle cap and the fat, in the part that we take off to do the plicature, repositioning the muscles. Then, we put this hose or silicon wire inside, it has a series of little holes in the drain’s body and then, the liquid goes inside it to meet this part that is a connection and, from this connection, it goes to a reservoir; This reservoir needs to always stay, let’s say 24 hours a day, with vacuum, sucked in, because if it is in this position, it is because it is not doing the vacuuming and then, this doesn’t help us, only to really interest us in the functioning of the reservoir, when it is in this position, it needs to be in this position 24 hours a day. Ah, but when do we take the liquid out? We remove the valve from the reservoir, pour the liquid in a sink of running water and then redo the vacuuming in this reservoir and this way it stays with the vacuum like this, it keeps sucking the liquid, and thus the liquid does not accumulate .But there is no need to wash this reservoir from the inside. Some clots remain, and they will naturally be washed by the liquid that is coming out.
When do we know when to remove the drain?It depends on each doctor and the technique used, for example, when these subcutaneous stitches are made, the drain time is shorter, we remove the drain earlier. However, with those very large abdomens, with overweight patients or even patients who are skinny, but who have lost 70 kilos, after bariatric surgery, these patients need to stay longer with the drain, and this makes us leave the drain longer, around two weeks
How do you know the right time to take the drain?When there is less than 50 ml in 24 hours inside this reservoir, in this marking here with the number of mL, i.e., it was 70ml, it went to 50ml, 40ml, 30ml, and then it’s time to remove the drain, i.e., there is less than 50 ml collected in 24 hours. So, it is important once a day, at about the same time, to drain the liquid and measure how many ml are in this reservoir, and this is very important for the management, even for the doctor to know, look, I can remove the drain, because all patients want to remove the drain in two days of surgery, but still, sometimes there is a very high amount of drainage, With 200 ml, 300 ml, sometimes associated to a liposuction, the volume is even higher than that, because there is a very large detached area, needing time for the body to recover, heal, replace these areas and then, the time will come when it will be less than 50 ml and, thus, we can remove the drain, which is usually around two weeks after the surgery.
Dr. Marco Cassol
Specialty: Plastic Surgeon
Procedures: Silicone prosthesis, reduction mammaplasty, augmentation mammoplasty, male gynecomastia, breast lift, mastopexy, abdominoplasty, liposuction, intimate surgery, gluteoplasty, cervicoplasty, dermolipectomy, Bichectomy, Rhinoplasty, Blepharoplasty, Mentoplasty, Face Lift, Macrotia and Otoplasty