The concept of using progressive tension sutures to eliminate the need for postoperative drains is not a new one, yet many plastic surgeons remain reluctant to commit to a drain-free tummy tuck. However, there are definitive benefits to going drain-free.
Reduced Incidence of Seroma
Seroma is the primary concern following abdominoplasty, so it follows that the majority of plastic surgeons are unwilling to risk not using drains, when this practice alleviates fluid buildup inside the body cavity. Yet, several studies have been published in recent years concluding that progressive tension sutures that negate the need for drains are not only safe, but actually lead to a reduced seroma rate overall compared to traditional abdominoplasty.
In my experience, high-tension, drain-free abdominoplasty delivers superior body contouring compared to traditional tummy tucks. Using progressive tension sutures above the umbilicus decreases tension on the incision itself, and also allows for incorporating liposuction of the upper abdomen safely at the same time. This translates to more comprehensive body contouring capability.
Improved Patient Experience
Improving the overall patient experience is a major benefit to drain-free tummy tucks. Not only is the recovery process less involved and body contours improved, omitting the drains can also result in significant cost savings that can be passed on to the patient. More importantly, with the desire for definitively slimmer lines as one of the most common reasons for liposuction and other body contouring procedures, it just makes sense to practice the technique that crafts more beautiful results.
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