Dr. Gray and Dr. Harrington use Dr. Gray’s Advanced No Drains Technique
Abdominoplasty surgery removes excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and tightens the muscles of the abdominal wall. Tummy tuck surgery can quite dramatically reduce a protruding abdomen, but it will leave a curved scar across the lower front of the abdomen, sometimes from hip to hip, depending on the extent of the original problem. Often, liposuction of the hips and/or thighs can be done at the same time for a better body contour. With proper diet and exercise, tummy tuck results are long lasting. Dr. Gray and Dr. Harrington will discuss the goals and expectations of your abdominoplasty surgery with you at length in your consultation. We want you to have the best possible results and to be very happy with your outcome.
Tummy Tuck with No Drains
For the past 6 years, Dr. Gray has been performing tummy tuck surgery with NO DRAINS, which reduces fat from the entire abdomen and does not require a second operation. It is a safer operation with better results than the typical tummy tuck procedure and requires no drains.
Benefits to Tummy Tuck with No Drains
The older method of performing abdominoplasty required the use of suction drains to prevent accumulation of fluid under the flap of tissue created in a tummy tuck procedure. Drains, in the form of plastic tubing, were sutured to the skin causing discomfort and limiting the patients mobility after surgery. Drains could become dislodged, cause pain and irritation. Patients were not even allowed to shower while the drains were still in place. Now, tummy tuck surgery and the additional use of liposuction can be performed without using drains. Dr. Lawrence Gray has been performing this new method of tummy tuck without drains surgery for 6 years.
In traditional tummy tuck, space is left between the fat and the muscle, which is where fluid can collect, so typically 2 or 3 drain was placed there to remove any fluid that collected. This collection of fluid is referred to as a seroma. The seroma could remain for one to several weeks. The drain is a tube that is brought out through the skin.
The patient would have to empty the collection bottle at the end of the drain several times a day recording the amount removed. If fluid collected after the drain was removed, then the surgeon has to remove the fluid using a needle every two or three days until no more fluid collected. Drains used to be in place for weeks. They were uncomfortable and a potential site of infection. Drains can be difficult for patients to manage, are uncomfortable, and must heal after removal.
The new method of tummy tuck surgery uses no drains and eliminates the space for fluid to accumulate. This method removes excess skin and fat by liposuction from the abdomen and then tightens the muscle of the abdominal wall and the skin of the abdomen. Muscle is tightened from the breast bone to the pubic bone and extra skin and fat are removed. The remaining skin is sewn together, closing the space and leaving no room for fluid to accumulate. Progressive tension sutures hold the tissue together controlling abdominal movement during the healing process.
This procedure has important benefits: It gives surgeons a technique to avoid the use of drains when performing a tummy tuck. Tummy tucks, no drains with liposuction at the same time can improve the contours and shape of the abdomen and overall body proportion. Patients are up and about in just a few days. Patients are much more comfortable without drains being attached and having to empty them or have the surgeon withdraw fluid. This method also results in less pain after surgery, and provides a quicker recovery, of critical importance to patients.
Who is a Good candidate for Abdominoplasty?
- Men and women who are in good health but who have fat deposits around the abdomen which are out of proportion to the rest of their body and are resistant to diet and exercise.
- Men or women who have lost a large amount of weight and are left with loose, hanging skin.
- Women who have had pregnancies in which the abdominal muscles have been badly stretched, weakened, or separated beyond that which can be returned to a normal contour.
- Older patients who have lost elasticity in their skin and have, perhaps, been somewhat overweight.
Dr. Lawrence Gray presented this method of Tummy Tuck with Liposuction: No Drains Needed at the annual meeting of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in New York City, held April 11th to 16th and at the annual meeting of the Northeastern Society of Plastic Surgeons in Washington, DC, September 18th to 21st, 2013.
Before and After Examples
What Happens After Your Abdominoplasty Surgery?
It may take you a few weeks to a couple months to feel completely like your old self again. Some people return to work after two weeks, while others take three to four weeks. An exercise program, starting slowly at first, will help reduce swelling, lower your chance of blood clots, and tone your muscles. Weight is no longer a concern because lipo-adominoplasty has vastly increased the blood supply compared to the conventional tummy tuck.
Incision lines, placed so that they will easily be hidden by clothing, will diminish after your plastic surgery but will be permanently visible. They may even appear to worsen during the first three to six months. In six months to one year, they will flatten and lighten in color.
Abdominoplasty will make your abdomen remarkably flatter and firmer. Your clothing will fit better and your self-esteem will be boosted. It is important to remember that you will have a permanent scar, but it will heal and fade over time. The results of your tummy tuck will be permanent unless you gain or lose a significant amount of weight or become pregnant. Contact Atlantic Plastic Surgery Center to find out more about abdominoplasty and other types of plastic surgery. Boston, Massachusetts and Maine are near our southern New Hampshire offices, and we even have patients come to us from across the country. Visit us to find out why.
Dr. Gray has presented the course, “Scarpa Sparing Abdominoplasty with Comcomitant Liposuction: No Drains Needed” for the 4th year in a row to the annual meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgery. This year the national conference was held in Las Vegas, Nevada from April 2nd to 7th, 2016.
Dr. Gray’s course, Scarpa Sparing Abdominoplasty with Concomitant Liposuction; No Drains Needed, has been selected to be a part of a new education program, the Aesthetic Immersion Modules (AIM), at The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) to be held in San Francisco, California, April 2014.
Abdominoplasty improves excess fatty tissue and sagging abdominal skin that is concentrated in the abdomen and is out of proportion with the rest of your body. It is customary to use drains to minimize the chance that fluid builds up in the operated area. These drains can be uncomfortable and difficult to manage. A novel technique that has been pioneered by members of the ISAPS and adopted by Dr. Gray over 6 years ago, limits the interruption of the lymphatic drainage in the abdomen.
The lymphatic drainage of the abdominal wall is carried out by a thin fibrous layer, Scarpa’s fascia, deep in the abdominal wall. It is the preservation of Scarpa’s fascia and the lymphatics which allows for absorption of the fluid. With less disruption of the body’s own regulatory drainage, no drains are needed following abdominoplasty.
To ensure that the same contouring effect is produced from the abdominoplasty surgery additional liposuction is performed at the same time. This thins the deeper layer while simultaneously allowing for the tissues to continue draining the excess fluid. The results of this research demonstrates that this procedure is safe and has results which are similar to standard abdominoplasty, while at the same time avoiding the use of drains.
Dr. Lawrence Gray, Dr. Brannon Claytor and Dr. Michael Baker, anesthesiologist, presented a course entitled Tummy Tuck with Liposuction: No Drains Needed at the annual meeting of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in New York City, April 11th to 16th, 2013 (1st photo) and then again April 24th to 29th, 2014 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in San Franisco (2nd photo).
This procedure has two important benefits: First, it gives surgeons a technique to avoid the use of drains when performing a tummy tuck. Drains can be difficult for patients to manage, are uncomfortable, and must heal after removal. Secondly, tummy tucks with liposuction at the same time can improve the contours and shape of the abdomen and overall body proportion. Patients are up and about in just a few days.