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Plastic Surgery Center of Tulsa

2107 E 15th St. Tulsa, OK 74104

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Drainless Tummy Tucks

Hi. I’m Dr. Greg Ratliff and I want to talk with you for a second about Tummy tucks and the evolution of tummy tucks over the last 10-15 years. I currently perform what is called a drainless tummy tuck. Drains have been used in tummy tucks for decades and they’re basically underneath the skin and the fat to prevent fluid from collecting between the muscle and the skin and fat layer.

In 2012, a father-son plastic surgery team out of Dallas described a procedure where instead of putting in drains, they put in stitches. And each stitch was designed to hold a little bit of tension as the skin and fat got placed downward. You can think of it as quilting, except there’s no bumps on the surface. It’s not pulled so tight that you get little dents. That procedure actually has a lower rate of fluid formation underneath, what’s called a seroma, where you get a collection of fluid, than leaving two drains.

So, in 2012, I read that paper, looked at their numbers, and I would like to say, “Oh, I believed the science, and the science was good, and I did it.” But I was nervous. So for three patients, I did the quilting and I put in drains. The drains put out nothing. I pulled those drains in one patient after three days and the other two patients after 48 hours. Ok. And since that time, I haven’t used a drain in a tummy tuck at all.

Drains are painful, they’re messy, they’re hard to carry around – it’s a long rubber tube sticking out of your skin hooked to a little sucker ball that’s supposed to expand and pull fluid into it if fluid forms. So, for all those reasons, drains are a nuisance. They work, they do what they’re supposed to do, but they’re annoying. If you don’t have to have them. You don’t.

I’ve got seven years of tummy tucks right here, doing about 120 tummy tucks a year. What is that 700, 800 something, that say, you don’t need drains. You want a drainless tummy tuck? Come see me. 918-712-0888, plasticsurgerycenteroftulsa.com or pscoftulsa.com for the website. Thanks.