The following post from our forum is from a woman who had a tummy tuck over two weeks ago and her surgical drains are still draining at a rate of over 25 ccs of fluid in a 24 hour period. She is wondering if the amount of fluid still draining is too much and if she is doing somthing to cause it.

Date: 09/18/2011 Submitted by: SouthpawSurgical Drains Still Draining Two Weeks After Tummy Tuck

I had my tummy tuck on Sept 2, 2011 and each of my tow drains continues to put out over 25 cc of fluid in a 24 hour period. I’m very concerned of the amount of fluid still draining and if it’s out of the ordinary. Am I doing something that can increase fluid production? I have been somewhat disapointed over my recovery because of the length the drains have been in. I also wanted to thank you for all the information that you have provided on your website. It has been very helpful.


Date: 09/18/2011 Submitted by: Tanner


Two and half weeks seems to be longer than the typical length of time surgical drains stay in but I don’t think that it is uncommon. It really isn’t that long, it just seems long when you have those things sticking in you.

To check it out further, I just went to my TUMMY TUCK FORUM page and sorted by category to find people with surgical drain related problems.

Here are a few of those that I found that had their tummy tuck drains longer than you. I am sure there are more listed but you can look for yourself if you are interested.

Tummy Tuck Drain Tube Incision Area Won’t Stop Draining
15 days

When Can I Remove My Tummy Tuck Surgical Drain
More than 17 days

Tummy Tuck Drains Taken Out Too Soon
4 weeks

Too Long For Tummy Tuck Surgical Drains
More than 2 weeks

Over 3 Weeks With Tummy Tuck Drains (No Link)
Over 3 weeks

With regard to what you are doing that increases fluid production – What are you doing? As long as you are not over stretching, over exerting, are moving slowly and deliberately, are wearing your compression garment and are following your surgeon’s advice you are probably not doing anything that will aggravate the problem.

Is you daily drainage rate decreasing at all?

It seems that you are getting closer to drain removal time. My doctor told me that his rule of thumb was that drains could be removed – after the amount of fluid put out by the drains falls below 30cc over a 24-hour period for 2 consecutive days. It doesn’t seem like you are too far off.

I wouldn’t be disappointed in your recovery yet. Some people just take long to drain (heal).

Good luck.


Follow-Up Email

Tanner, Thank you for your response. I am happy to say that the drains were removed today, 2 1/2 weeks after surgery. There was no pain involved in removing them, it was quite easy. I feel like I am on the mend now and looking forward to seeing the results as weeks go by.