The following question from our forum is from a woman who had a tummy tuck 17 days ago and is wondering if it is safe to remove her tummy tuck surgical drains.

Date: 08/28/2010 Submitted by: Baby

I had my abdominoplasty & herniolasty done on 11/8/2010 ie. 17 days now. The drain collected still is 22cc. Can the drain be removed now? Will it get accumulated if the drain pipe is removed? Baby


Date: 08/28/2010 Submitted by: Tanner


I imagine that you are getting pretty tired of lugging the drain around and having to empty it over and over. What a chore! 17 days is a long time to have a surgical drain sticking out of your body.

I assume the 22 cc drain rate you refer to is for a 24 hour period. From what I understand, 30 cc per day and below is a guideline that a surgeon uses to determine when to remove surgical drains after a tummy tuck. Since you had a herniolasty as well, perhaps there are additional considerations.

When does your surgeon say the drain can come out? He is the only one that can (or should) remove it or tell you when it is safe to remove it. Even though you are tired of having it still in there, the longer it’s there the better. It’s there for a reason – reduce risk of infection, prevent other complications such as seroma or fistula (an unnatural connection between internal body parts such as an organ, intestine or vessel usually caused by injury or surgery).

I am not sure what you mean by “Will it get accumulated if the drain pipe is removed?”. If you are asking if the fluid will start to accumulate and pool in your body, then that will depend on your body and it’s ability to absorb the fluid. Your doctor has the training and experience to best make that determination.

Good luck.