The following post from our forum is from a woman who had a tummy tuck 5 days ago. He surgeon tried to remove her surgical drain but it wouldn’t come out. She has to have another surgery to remove it.

Date: 02/14/2012 Submitted by: MomOf4Doctor Can’t Remove My Tummy Tuck Surgical Drain

Hello, first thank you for this site! There is so much great information. I have a questions about drain complications. I am 5 days post op for a TT and the doc attempted to remove the jp drain in his office today. But it got stuck. Under local, he opened that side of my incision up to try to remove the drain and was still unable to do it. I am now scheduled for a quick surgery tomorrow to remove it. Have you ever heard of such thing? I Asked him I f he additional, though, minor procedure will now make me create more fluid, therefore need a drain or risk a Seroma later and he didn’t think so. Thank you for your time.


Date: 02/14/2012 Submitted by: Tanner


No, I have never heard of that happening to anybody before, at least nobody has written in about it. I also did a quick Google search and couldn’t find any info about it.

I can’t understand how it could get stuck. If your drain tube is like mine was, it’s just a short piece of plastic tubing sticking into your body with nothing on the end of it to hold it in. It should just slip out when gently (but firmly) pulled.

For it to get stuck, something (dried blood/waste fluid/material or whatever) must have somehow attached itself to the tubing and “glued” it to another part of your body or just attached itself to the tubing creating a clump on the tubing, preventing it’s removal.

Was it draining normally for the last 5 days?

Will the minor surgery create more fluid? If it does, I would think that it would be minimal because there shouldn’t be that much cutting. I would also expect your doctor to remove some built up fluid with a syringe over the next few weeks.

Good luck on your surgery. I would love to know what happened and how it got stuck (what the doctor finds) after it’s all over.


Follow-up Email
Thank you so much for your quick reply. The surgeon said that were 3 layers of stitches done at the time of a tummy tuck. Somehow when stitching me up initially he stitched the drain to 2 separate stitches. He admits it’s his error and was very apologetic. Today’s removal went very easily but there is a 4 inch piece of the incision that is back to being very sore. Luckily it sounds like this is an isolated occurrence.

When did you find that you were able to stand straight up again, and did you just stretch it a bit every day till you were straight? I am only 6 days post op now and with today’s setback I think I’m still a few days away from that. Thank you so much for all of your help.

Response – Virginia,

Thanks for letting me know what happened.

The thought of the drain tube being stitched in did occur to me as a possibility, but I didn’t give it any though because it seem inconceivable. At least your surgeon admitted it and was apologetic. I assume that you didn’t have to pay for the additional surgery.

My ability to stand up straight won’t be the same as yours since I had skin removed all the way around my waist (tummy tuck and lateral thigh lift). I was standing up straight the next day. I am sure it varies greatly with each person and their tummy tuck operation. I can’t tell you what the average time is.

Here are a couple of links from women who had tummy tucks and mention standing straight. It took the woman who had her tummy tuck in Bolivia about three weeks before she was able to stand straight.

By the way, I wouldn’t do any stretching until your incisions are fully healed and then will the approval of your doctor. Your skin will stretch enough on it’s own doing normal daily activities.

Good luck with the rest of your recovery.