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The Importance of Surgical Drains During Plastic Surgery Recovery

By Dr. Suzanne Yee on September 10, 2014


Female with surgical markings across the hips and tummyAs techniques in the field of plastic surgery continue to advance, more and more people feel comfortable turning to surgery in order to treat signs of aging and/or enhance their physical features. In general, plastic surgery procedures are considered a safe and effective means of reaching aesthetic goals. However, all surgical procedures carry a degree of risk. As a plastic surgeon dedicated to the safety and satisfaction of her patients, Dr. Suzanne Yee utilizes all tools available to ensure that her patients have a safe and satisfactory recovery from surgery. Whether undergoing a tummy tuck to slim the abdomen or a facelift to revitalize the facial features, for our Little Rock patients, plastic surgery drains are one such tool that may be used in order to promote healing after surgery.

What Are Surgical Drains?

Surgical drains are small plastic tubes that help to collect and drain fluid from the incision area after a plastic surgery procedure. These drains, which are typically composed of a mix of silicone and rubber materials, are placed at the time of surgery and either extend from the incision site itself or from a separate location near the incision. One end of the drain is in the wound while the other extends to the outside of the body where it connects to a small bulb, which collects any fluid or blood that drains from the wound.

Why Are Drains Important?

Surgical drains are important in removing excess fluid from the incision area in order to allow the wound to heal properly, and as a precaution to help prevent infection. If the fluid that is drained were allowed to build up beneath the wound, it would be very difficult for the body’s tissues to come together and heal. Plastic surgery procedures, such as a tummy tuck, that require large incisions can often benefit from the placement of surgical drains to prevent the collection of blood and serous fluid (the light, yellow fluid that drains from wounds).

How Long Are Drains in Place?

The duration of time that surgical drains will remain in place varies by procedure. Some plastic surgery procedures will not require the use of surgical drains at all, while some may require the use of drains for several days, and others for up to a couple of weeks. Despite the procedure that was performed, the main factors that are used to determine when surgical drains can be removed are the amount of fluid that is being collected by the drains and the color of that fluid. While surgical drains can be very helpful to the healing process, Dr. Yee is careful to limit their use to only that amount of time in which they prove to be helpful and necessary. Once the drains are no longer serving a purpose, they will be removed so that the body can continue to heal on its own.

Schedule an Appointment

Dr. Suzanne Yee combines an artistic eye with a vast amount of knowledge and experience in order to provide her patients with the highest degree of care. If you are interested in learning more about our cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures, we invite you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Yee at your earliest convenience. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Love Dr. Yee! She is very caring and patient, and she answered any questions I had. She has a very knowledgeable and friendly staff as well. Highly recommend her. Best of the best!

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