The need for drain tubes after butt implant surgery

The need for drain tubes after butt implant surgery

01st Jan 2018

Buttock augmentation with implants is a major surgery, which means that there are a number of risks, side effects, and potential complications associated with the procedure. The procedure involves the placement of incisions to insert the implant inside the butts. After surgery, there is the likelihood that fluid, pus, and blood may build up under the skin in the surgical area.

When fluids build up in the surgical area, the condition is called seroma. If the fluid is not removed from the site in a timely manner, the patient may suffer from additional complications like infections. Furthermore, when the blood vessels are damaged during the surgery, there is a probability that red blood cells may discharge and collect in the surgical site, taking the shape of a condition called hematoma.

In order to prevent conditions like seroma and hematoma, your plastic surgeon will place drain tubes under the skin at the surgical site. These drain tubes are intended to drain away any blood stained fluids and pus that may collect in the surgical area, thus helping prevent other complications like infections and expediting the healing process.

Drains tubes are not used after every plastic surgery

The use of drain tubes is not considered compulsory for all plastic surgery procedures. However, there are certain procedures that involve more risks of complications like seroma and hematoma. Drain tubes become necessary when the incisions are highly invasive and severe.

The common plastic surgery procedures that necessitate the use of drain tubes include tummy tuck, breast reduction, and buttock implant. Buttock implants are considered a major surgery, because it involves the placement of artificial devices inside your butt. The use of drain tubes becomes especially important where the implants are placed underneath or within the gluteal muscle.

The use of surgical drain

In the buttock implant procedure, the plastic surgeon will use drain tubes to prevent fluids from accumulating in the incision and the surgical area. The surgery involves deep incisions, during which your muscles, tissue, nerves, and blood vessels may be injured or damaged. As a result, there is a risk that fluids may be discharged from the blood vessels to build up in the incision and the under the skin. As such, the use of surgical drains becomes inevitable to save the patient from health complications.

There are many patients who have no idea about drain tubes, so they are often surprised or shocked when they wake up from the effects of the general anesthesia to see tubes attached to their surgical sites.

It is important for buttock implant patients to discuss with their surgeons whether drain tubes will be placed in the incisions after the procedure, how long the tubes will remain there, what is their purpose, and what are the benefits of using them.

What does a drain tube look like?

The drain tube is a tiny, hollow tube made of plastic. The tube transports the fluids from the surgical area to an egg-shaped bulb, which is also made of plastic. In order for the drain to work properly, the bulb must be shrunken to pull and draw the fluids from the surgical area.

The drain tubes are normally placed in the incision during the surgery and attached to the skin. A tiny opening is kept in the skin for the drain tube. Some surgeons place another tiny incision in the skin to pass the drain tube into the surgical area. There are different types of surgical drains, but the most popular one is the Jackson Pratt or JP drain.

Additional information

After the butt implant surgery, you should ask your plastic surgeon whether you can take a shower while having the drain tubes attached to your body. Normally, the bulb squeeze has a ring to hang the bulb onto your dress. If you want to conceal the surgical drain, you should wear special garments like camisoles or shorts that have special pockets for the drain bulbs and overtures for the tubes.

You will be told to take note of the measurement of collected fluid before emptying the drain tube. The tube has the measurements written on it. You can also use a measuring cup for this purpose. This is very important. Your surgeon will use the numbers to determine if you are having any complications.

You should empty the bulb before it is filled with fluids, ideally every 3 to 4 hours. Before emptying the bulb, you should wash your hand with soap or cleanser and then empty the surgical drain.

How long will the drains stay?

The length of time for the surgical drains to stay in the incision after surgery differs from patient to patient. There are many patients who heal properly and faster, without much discharge of fluids, blood, or pus in the surgical area. Furthermore, it also depends on the movement and pressure in the butt. The more careful you are during the recovery period, the sooner the drain will be removed.

Normally, the drains are removed within 7 to 10 days after surgery. Surgeons usually look for lower than 25cc fluid discharge within the first two days to determine whether to remove the drains.


The buttock implant surgery is a major operation, which means that there is a risk of injury or damage to the muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. After the surgery, the patient’s body may discharge bloodstained fluids at the surgical site. If the fluids are not removed from the area, there is a risk that seroma or hematoma may occur, which can trigger further complications like an infection of the implants. In order to prevent these potential conditions, most plastic surgeons place drain tubes in the surgical area. These tubes carry out any fluids and blood that may collect under the skin or in the surgical incisions.

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