When patients come in for consultations about tummy tuck procedures, one of the main concerns they have is the recovery process following a tummy tuck. It makes sense: we see dramatic results with a tummy tuck, but one of the tradeoffs is the incision. It’s longer than what we see with other procedures and so of course it affects the amount of work the body has to do to heal itself. Since our philosophy at The Plastic Surgery Clinic includes providing the absolute highest level of care possible, Dr. Ahmad and I have made it our priority to pioneer a new method of performing tummy tuck surgery to help our patients have the safest, most comfortable recovery possible.
After repositioning and tightening the skin during traditional abdominoplasty surgery, it used to be the case that a space between the skin and muscle would be left open and unattached. This space can lead to something known as a seroma, which is a pocket of fluid that collects in the body after surgery. We don’t like to see any kind of unnecessary fluid buildup because it slows down healing and creates swelling and discomfort. Plastic surgeons found a solution for this problem by inserting small tubes or drains to remove the excess fluid. It meant that patients would have to live for several days or even weeks with the drains, an experience that can prove to be both uncomfortable and inconvenient. We had to wonder – was there something we could do to eliminate the need for them altogether?
We did extensive research so that we could develop a new technique to make sure our patients didn’t have to live with drains. Our no-drain tummy tuck surgery uses a method known as Progressive Tension Abdominoplasty to seal the space between the skin and muscle, leaving no room for fluid to accumulate. We use a special kind of internal stitch called a Quill suture to lock the tissues in place and prevent fluid from building up beneath the skin. It’s a revolutionary approach and we’re thrilled that our patients can heal faster and have a more comfortable and safe recovery period.
You might be wondering at this point why all plastic surgeons don’t use the no-drain tummy tuck technique if it’s available. First, it’s an advanced technique that requires a lot of skill and experience. Second of all, it takes more time in the operating room. For whatever reason, some surgeons are unwilling to take that extra time and decide that drains are a more suitable solution. From our perspective, if we can improve your recovery process and potentially decrease the risk of complications, we don’t really mind if we have to do a bit of extra work and take a little more time. It’s that little extra time in the operating room that’s going to significantly shorten your recovery time.