The following post from our forum is from a woman who had a tummy tuck over three months ago and he drain tube incision area won’t stop draining. He doctor didn’t seem too concerned but she is wondering why it’s still draining and if there is anything to do about it.

Date: 09/04/2011 Submitted by: KarenTummy Tuck Drain Tube Incision Area Won’t Stop Draining

I had a tummy tuck with one drain placed just above my pubic area May 24, 2011. Seven days post surgery I was admitted to the hospital with 4 PE’s and 2 DVT’s. The JP drain remained in place while I was hospitalized for 8 days (total time drain in place 15 days). Despite removal the drain/incision site continues to drain the pale golden fluid and it has been over three months since surgery. Although certainly odd my surgeon has indicated that it isn’t anything to worry about after exploring the abdominal area with a needle. Why is this still draining and should anything be done?


Date: 09/04/2011 Submitted by: Tanner


Sorry to hear about your difficulties.

Three months is an awfully long time for a drain/incision site to continue to drain. I can see why you are concerned.

Only a doctor can tell you why it is still draining (well, maybe not) and if anything can be done. If waiting longer isn’t an option, the only thing I could suggest would be to get a second opinion with another doctor.

Here is some information about drainage that may be helpful.

Surgical Area Discharge Guide
Discharge Coming From Incision Area. Discharge and drainage from a tummy tuck incision/wound area is subjective and requires an expert evaluation, but generally appear as follows.
•Clear yellow fluid – possibly serous fluid
•Clear, yellow and slightly oily discharge (chicken broth with fat
droplets) – possible sign of fat necrosis (liquefied fat)
•Clear yellow/orange discharge – possible self draining seroma
•Thicker opaque white or green – possible infection

From Wikipedia – In physiology, the term serous fluid is used for various bodily fluids that are typically pale yellow and transparent, and of a
benign nature, that fill the inside of body cavities. Serous fluid originates from serous glands, with secretions enriched with proteins and water. Serous fluid may also originate from mixed glands, which contain both mucous and serous cells. A common trait of serous fluids is their role in assisting digestion, excretion, and respiration.

One thing I am curious about though is that when my drains were removed, the incision site closed up and healed together in a matter of days. Are you saying that for more than two months after you got home, the drain tube “hole” never closed up and continues to drain?

Good luck.


Follow-Up Message From Karen

Tanner, You are correct….the hole never closed and the hole continues to drain three months post surgery.