The following post from our forum is from a woman who had a tummy tuck operation and her surgical drain is clogged and she is swelling.

Date: 02/19/2012 Submitted by: MarionTummy Tuck Surgical Drain Is Clogged And I Am Swelling

I had a tummy tuck done on Jan. 6th. I starting having a lot of swelling on Jan. 19th. A drain was inserted but clogged soon thereafter. I have now had a total of three drains inserted since my surgery. Tonight I am miserable because the drain has stopped working again and my doctor is not on call. The first 2 drains were not painful but this last one was horrible. The radiologist must have done something wrong because I was almost sick with pain and there was a huge amount of blood. Always before there was only yellow fluid.

I wish I had never had this surgery. I do not know what can be done to make these drains work. A lot of fluid is drawn of by using the vac. Jug. One time 1800cc! Thanks for listening. I am just at wits end. I have asked my surgeon to go back in and fix this problem but he is very reluctant to do that. I have a fever but blood works is all good. Very strange. Thank you, any suggestions would be welcome.


Date: 02/19/2012 Submitted by: Tanner


Sorry to hear about your problems.

If I understand you correctly, your first two drains were removed, then you swelled up then another drain was installed? And the one that is currently installed is clogging?

Also, what does the Radiologist have to do with your surgical drain? Didn’t your surgeon install it?

The only thing that I can think of to do (aside from seeking medical attention) is to remove the clog by pinching and milking the drain tubing.

“To remove the clog I was instructed to “milk” or push the fluid in the tube towards the container by squeezing the tubing between two fingers while pushing towards the container.”

Then as a preventative measure, I would do that every few hours (or as needed) to prevent new clogs from forming.

Can you locate the location of the clog? If the clog is located in the tubing that is inside your body then there isn’t much you can do except go back to your doctor. If it’s anywhere outside you should be able to clear it.

You should be able to locate it by pinching and milking and watching the fluid move within the tubing.

Good luck,