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Drains and Plastic Surgery

If there is one constant in my Louisville Ky cosmetic surgery practice, it is the dislike of Drains.

Drains are round or flat tubes that are placed in surgery. They exit through the skin and empty into some form of reservoir. Patients don’t like them at all but they are necessary “evils” following procedures like Louisville Tummy Tucks and Louisville Facelifts.

During surgery if we elevate the skin, as in a facelift, breast lift, or tummy tuck from the underlying muscles, our body will leak serum into that new space. Serum is basically the watery part of our blood. If there is no method to evacuate that fluid, it will form a collection called a seroma. Seroma can cause a variety of problems and so we do our best to avoid them. Thus,  the drain. The drains are placed and serve as an exit route for the fluid. They stay in after surgery anywhere from 12 hours to a week or two depending  on the procedure. They are typically removed not based on time but on output.

So, while they are not the most popular part of cosmetic surgery, they do serve a valuable purpose in helping you achieve a great surgical result.

Lee Corbett, MD

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