A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, can eliminate excess skin and fat to improve the contour of your abdomen. But traditional tummy tuck techniques can come with some hassle and discomfort during recovery. To reduce this, San Antonio plastic surgeons Dr. Dallas Homas and Dr. Lisa Brostrom can perform a drainless tummy tuck to simplify the recovery period and make it more comfortable.
What is a Drainless Tummy Tuck?
A drainless tummy tuck is a tummy tuck procedure that uses a slightly different technique in order to eliminate the need for drains during recovery (hence the name, drainless tummy tuck).
Drains are often necessary after a traditional San Antonio tummy tuck procedure to eliminate fluid accumulation that can cause complications if not removed from the treatment area. These drains can be uncomfortable and require emptying three times a day.
In addition, your doctor may instruct you to measure and report your fluid output as part of monitoring recovery from tummy tuck surgery, making recovery more complicated. In contrast, after a drainless tummy tuck, patients enjoy a smoother recovery period without worrying about drains.
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Who is a Candidate for Drainless Abdominoplasty?
A benefit of this plastic surgery procedure is that patients who are candidates for a regular tummy tuck are typically candidates for the drainless procedure as well. Qualifications for tummy tuck in San Antonio include being a non-smoker, in generally good health, and being within 30% of your ideal weight.
Although a drainless tummy tuck is a highly effective and convenient plastic surgery procedure, it’s important to know that this surgery is not a weight loss solution. A good candidate for a tummy tuck has realistic expectations for what an abdominoplasty can achieve and be concerned about specific problem areas of excess skin and fat that haven’t responded to diet and exercise.
A drainless tummy tuck procedure in San Antonio, TX is effective at eliminating excess and/or sagging tissue in the abdominal area that is often present after pregnancy, weight loss, or due to aging. Patients may be interested in a drainless tummy tuck as opposed to a traditional one if they want less post-operative discomfort, and less complications with drains left in their incision areas.
Drainless Tummy Tuck Procedure
A drainless tummy tuck does not differ too much from a traditional tummy tuck in San Antonio. Based on the observations and desired results discussed during a consultation, one of our board-certified plastic surgeons will make an incision at the base of your abdomen, from one hip to the other, and perhaps another incision around the belly button to assist with tissue removal.
During an abdominoplasty, excess skin and excess fat is removed from the abdomen. In addition, some patients, specifically women who have given birth, also require some muscle tissue repair to address a central bulge caused by muscle separation or weakness.
At the end of a traditional tummy tuck surgery, a plastic surgeon would typically place one or more drainage tubes beneath the skin to get rid of excess bodily fluids.
However, during a drainless tummy tuck, our doctors use internal quilting sutures in addition to the sutures on the main incision. These sutures hold together the abdominal fat and muscle layers, eliminating the need for drains. These sutures then dissolve on their own as the layers heal and reconnect.
Results and Recovery
The results of a drainless tummy tuck are just like a traditional tummy tuck, but you’ll be able to enjoy them with less discomfort! You can expect a smoother recovery process without the hassle and discomfort of taking care of drainage tubes. Although you’ll still need the usual post-op visits, you won’t have to worry about going in to have drains removed.
Patients undergoing abdominal plastic surgery procedures typically require oral pain medication to minimize discomfort for the first few days after surgery. The treatment area will likely be red and swollen for a number of days, and patients of our doctors are usually required to wear a special surgical garment to aid the healing process.
Because every patient is different, and every tummy tuck procedure is personalized to address their individual needs, recovery time also varies. Most people undergoing abdominoplasty surgery take two weeks off of work and social engagements to recover.
How to Maximize Tummy Tuck Results
One of the top concerns of people seeking cosmetic surgery like a drainless tummy tuck is how long the results will last. And while no plastic surgery can prevent the natural results of the aging process, they can achieve significant and long-lasting results.
The best way to get the most from your drainless tummy tuck procedure is to maintain a healthy weight through a good diet and exercise routine. Changes such as weight gain or pregnancy can alter abdominal muscles, re-deposit excess fat in treated areas, and put stress on the skin, potentially causing stretch marks.
These negative side effects are why abdominoplasty may not be right for San Antonio people seeking a weight loss solution, as the procedure itself doesn’t remove a large amount of excess fat or excess skin. Dr. Homas or Dr. Brostrom may recommend people interested in an abdominoplasty to first change their diet and exercise routine until they are within a healthy range of weight.
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What to Ask During an Abdominoplasty Consultation
Before getting a consultation about a drainless tummy tuck procedure, it helps to have a set of questions in mind to help make yourself an informed patient with specific goals rather than a general feeling of dissatisfaction with your figure. Helpful questions to ask Dr. Homas or Dr. Brostrom during your tummy tuck consultation include:
- What makes me a good candidate for an abdominoplasty?
- What will I need to do to get the best results and simplest recovery?
- Where and how is a drainless tummy tuck performed?
- Do you recommend a traditional, mini, or drainless abdominoplasty for my specific concerns?
- How long of a recovery period can I expect, and what kind of help will I need during my recovery?
- What risks and complications are there for this surgery?
- What will my stomach look like as I recover?
- What options do I have if I am unsatisfied with the results?
- How much will the tummy tuck cost?
Schedule a Drainless Tummy Tuck Consultation
To learn more about abdominoplasty procedures including the drainless tummy tuck, contact New Image Plastic Surgery today. Both Dr. Lisa Brostrom and Dr. Dallas Homas are board-certified plastic surgeons who are highly experienced in dozens of surgical and non-surgical solutions to all of your aesthetic goals. You can reach us by calling (210) 988-9819 or contacting us online.