Dr. Michael Suzman

What are drain tubes and why do doctors use drains for plastic surgery

By: Dr. Michael Suzman


Plastic Surgery Q&A with Dr. Michael Suzman

What are drain tubes and why do doctors use drains for plastic surgery like breast reduction, tummy tuck and facelifts?

Here’s the good news: I almost never use drains for5 cosmetic breast, tummy or facelift surgery! So my patients do not have to worry about the anxiety or discomfort of a rubber tube coming out of their skin, draining bloody fluid into a bulb. Many patients are fearful of drains and nervous about how to manage them after surgery.

Why do most surgeons use drains? After bigger cosmetic surgeries, there is a lot of empty space where tissue was removed, like breast tissue or tummy skin and fat. And the body will generate swelling during healing, along with some, hopefully minor, bleeding. When fluid accumulates in the breast or tummy, it can cause a very large collection called a seroma. It can even get skin bacteria in it causing a large infection. Drains help get rid of extra fluid and collapse the empty space. And they generally do not hurt while they are in, though taking them out can be sore for a bit.

So how do I avoid drains?

I have done over 2000 breast lifts and reductions and have not used a drain in 10 years or more. Same with tummy tucks, though its likely a several hundred cases, not thousands.

The goal is to reduce the amount of swelling produced- and I do that by removing tissue with less destructive techniques.

Electrocautery stops bleeding and is used extensively in plastic surgery but I use it only when necessary.

I use lots of local anesthetics and an anti bleeding amino acid that reduces swelling and bleeding for my patients.

I close off empty spaces with dissolving sutures when needed.

I use high quality compression garments after surgery, often precisely fit with FitMatch Ai scanning technology.

I give very precise post surgery instructions to patients so they stay mobile after surgery but do not over do it.

With care and proper technique, I rarely get seromas, or at least not more frequently than I did when using drains. Reach out to us to learn more about modern facelift, breast reduction, tummy tuck and rhinoplasty surgery with Dr. Suzman

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.