Even better – Dr. Sanders’ drainless tummy tuck technique makes the whole procedure more convenient and more comfortable.

Traditional Abdominoplasty – Inconvenient Drains, Uncomfortable Removal

In most abdominoplasty procedures, your plastic surgeon will insert one or more surgical drains to help prevent fluid build-up behind the area that was operated on. This allows the lifted tummy skin and the space between the skin and muscle to eventually heal shut. Each surgical drain is a clear tube that is placed through a very short incision below the main abdominoplasty incision.

Usually, your surgeon will have the drain tube exiting your abdomen through one, two or three incisions, leading to a small bulb that collects the excess fluid.

You’ll also have pain pumps – tiny, painless, disposable tubes which are placed into the area of muscle tightening and provide continuous infusion of local anesthetic to manage your postoperative pain.

As you can imagine, tubes and bulbs hanging from your stomach are inconvenient and unsightly at best – and often very uncomfortable. You can pin them to your clothing or create a makeshift belt to tie them around your waist. But there’s no escaping the fact that you’ve got several tubes sticking out of your stomach for a week or more. Plus, each bulb needs to be emptied of the collected fluid several times a day.

How long you will have the drains in place depends on how much drainage you have. The surgical drains may be removed anytime from 3 to 15 days or more. Additionally, they may not all come out at once, since your drainage may be uneven.

To remove the drain, your plastic surgeon pulls the tube out. This can be very painful. In fact, most people say this is the worst part of the entire abdominoplasty!

The Drainless Tummy Tuck

Los Angeles plastic surgeon Dr. Sanders bypasses the traditional use of drains in his abdominoplasty procedure by using a special technique. He stitches the tummy skin to the underlying muscle layer which obliterates the traditional space left between the lifted skin and muscle – removing the need for a drain.

What Happens to the Excess Fluids?

Of course,  the first question Dr. Sanders’ LA drainless tummy tuck patients ask is if the fluid is not being drained from the body, what happens to it? It is simply absorbed back into the body, naturally and painlessly.

Get a face and body that matches the ultimate vision of yourself.

Do you ever look in the mirror in disappointment, realizing that the face staring back at you does not match the image in your head? If you fall short of your own self-image, we invite you to consider aesthetic interventions, ranging from breast augmentation to facelifts to tummy tucks. Get the face and body you have always dreamed of, and step into a more youthful, more confident version of yourself. Request a consultation with Dr. Sanders.
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The Benefits of Going Drainless

It goes without saying that not having tubes you have to regularly drain for a week or more is a major convenience. And not having to have those tubes eventually pulled out is a real benefit to Dr. Sanders’ drainless tummy tuck technique. Plus you’re able to shower just as soon as the pain pumps are removed. You can quickly get back to your regular, active life, ready to show your slim new stomach to the world!

In addition to drainless tummy tuck, Dr. Sanders performs a variety of other body contouring procedures. He is proud of his reputation as one of the most experienced Los Angeles liposuction, thigh lift and arm lift specialists. Dr. Sanders is dedicated to remaining abreast of the latest developments in the field of cosmetic surgery – a commitment that allows him to offer patients such leading-edge procedures as buttock lift in Los Angeles. Please explore the respective procedure pages to learn more about these and other treatments performed by Dr. Sanders.

Drainless Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) FAQ

  • What is a Drainless Tummy Tuck?

    A drainless tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is a surgical technique that combines liposuction with a traditional tummy tuck procedure. This procedure removes excess abdominal skin and tightens the underlying muscles without the need for drains used during recovery with traditional tummy tucks.

  • How are Drainless Tummy Tucks Different from Traditional Tummy Tucks?

    A traditional tummy tuck requires drains stitched in place by your surgeon to release fluids after surgery. Fluid build-up can lead to infections, inflammation, and slower healing after a traditional tummy tuck. A drainless tummy tuck uses special sutures to minimize the need for drains by attaching the skin and underlying muscles to reduce the space where fluid build-up usually occurs.

  • What are the Benefits of a Drainless Tummy Tuck?

    A drainless tummy tuck has many benefits, the most obvious being the absence of drain tubes. Traditional tummy tuck drains must be maintained and monitored until it is time to remove them, and the removal process is sometimes uncomfortable. A drainless tummy tuck doesn’t require drain tube maintenance and allows your body and mind to recover more comfortably and conveniently. Additionally, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports not only is recovery from drainless tummy tucks generally faster than traditional ones, but scarring tends to heal more smoothly, too.

  • Am I A Good Candidate for a Drainless Tummy Tuck?

    If you have excess abdominal skin, weakened abdominal muscles, and are a generally healthy individual, a drainless tummy tuck might be an optimal choice for you. However, only a qualified plastic surgeon can advise you about your best options, and sometimes a traditional tummy tuck is a better option for your abdominoplasty.

  • How is a Drainless Tummy Tuck Performed?

    Your surgeon begins with a small incision near the public line to remove excess skin and tighten the muscles beneath. Progressive tension sutures involve a specialized layered suturing technique that reduces the amount of motion and friction between the lifted skin and the underlying muscle and removes the need for traditional drains.

  • Will I Have Visible Scars After a Drainless Tummy Tuck?

    As with any surgical procedure, some scarring will occur, but qualified and experienced surgeons will strategically perform the incisions so they will not be easily visible. In time, by following the post-operative guidelines provided by your surgeon, your scars will likely fade and become less apparent.

  • What Is The Recovery Like After a Drainless Tummy Tuck?

    Each individual patient will heal differently, but most will experience at least a week of discomfort, swelling, and bruising. During recovery, you must avoid strenuous activities and follow your surgeon’s post-operative care instructions to accommodate healing. 

  • When will I See the Final Results of a Drainless Tummy Tuck?

    You will notice an immediate improvement in your abdominal contour, but it may take several weeks or months to see the final results. Swelling will gradually subside, and the tissues will settle into their new position, revealing a flatter, more toned abdomen.

  • What are the Potential Risks and Complications With a Drainless Tummy Tuck Procedure?

    Any surgery will include risks and potential complications. Risks/complications associated with a drainless tummy tuck include swelling, bruising, bleeding, infection, adverse reaction to anesthesia, seroma (fluid build-up, although the drainless tummy tuck procedure has been found to reduce the risk of seroma significantly), unfavorable results or scarring. While these risks are rare, knowing what to look for and be aware of is essential. It is important to find a surgeon with a team that will take all necessary precautions to reduce the chances of any complications. 


    Another risk is inadvertently choosing a surgeon without adequate experience, qualifications, and training. Be sure you research potential plastic surgeons to verify they are board-certified, experienced in drainless tummy tucks, and equipped and qualified to perform your surgery. Check reviews, credentials, affiliations, training, etc., to verify their experience and abilities.

  • Where Does the Fluid Go Without Drains?

    The specialized layered suturing technique leaves little room for fluids to build up. Instead, the fluids are naturally absorbed by the lymphatic system and expelled.

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