Tummy tucks have dramatically changed for the better over the past few years. The two reasons that tummy tucks have become easier for patients are one Exparel (a long acting local anesthetic) and the no drain technique called progressive tension sutures. The combination of these to advance have made the recover for patients much easier as they have less pain and it is easier for them to move around after surgery.
The exparel in my patients has created an enhanced experience for several reasons. One I typically do not use any drains with my tummy tuck so with the use of the exparel I don’t have any standard drainage tubes or the tubes connected to the pain pumps for the patients to deal with after surgery. The second reason is that with exparel is injected at the time of surgery, so there is no concern of the pain pump tubing be removed prematurely, kinking or having any type of problems. Thirdly and most importantly the exparel can be injected directly to the areas where you plastic surgeon wants it. It can be injected along the muscles that are tightened, any areas that liposuction was performed and along your incision.
I rarely ever use drains in my tummy tuck patients as the progressive tension suture technique has eliminated the need for drains. With this new technique I place sutures on the inside that help eliminate any space for fluid to collect after your tummy tuck. Without a large space for fluid to collect the body can absorb the fluid, as it would normally do on a daily basis. Thus tummy tuck patients can avoid the need for drains with their procedure.
The combination of the exparel and no drain technique has made a dramatic difference in the recovery of patients after their tummy tuck.
Please discuss your tummy tuck options with your board certified plastic surgeon.