Drains and why we use them in Cosmetic Surgery

Drains are used in all of the Surgical fields, General Surgery, Orthopedics, Urology and Plastic Surgery etc… The purpose of a drain is to evacuate fluid from building up in an empty space or a potential space where the surgery was performed.This helps lower the chances of post operative complications and infections.

What actually is a drain? Most are small, hallow tubes, made of silicone that we place in the empty space and then outside of the body they are attached to a small bulb that creates suction. This allows us to keep fluid from building up in the operative area.

In Cosmetic Surgery they are often used in Tummy Tucks, Face Lifts, and some Breast surgeries. Tummy tucks are probably the most common instance. In a tummy tuck the drain removes the fluid that naturally builds up between the top of the abdominal muscles and the overlying fatty tissue. Without a drain in place, the fluid would just collect and distort the appearance of the abdomen and could lead to wound healing problems. In most instances that we use drains we remove them not based on time but on how much fluid is actually draining out. When the output is low enough, the drain is removed. Usually this ranges from a day or two up to a week.

So, while not terribly popular with patients, drain are sort of a ‘necessary evil’ that helps your surgeon get the best outcome with your cosmetic procedure.

Lee Corbett, MD

Corbett Cosmetic Aesthetic Surgery and Med Spa

Plastic Surgery for Weight Loss

scaleOften times when I consult with patients who are considering a tummy tuck or liposuction, they will ask “How much weight will I lose?”. Unfortunately, for most patients the answer is a pound or two, so not very much. Plastic Surgery is just not intended as a weight loss tool.

While both procedures do remove fatty tissue, and in the case of a tummy tuck, loose skin, these just don’t weigh very much. Fat as a tissue, is not very dense. It takes a lot of fat to weigh even a pound. I always weigh the amount removed when I do a tummy tuck and it almost always between 2 to 3 pounds, that’s it. This if for the patients who have a fairly generous roll between their belly button and pubic area. For the patients who really only have loose skin, usually from babies, it might not even weigh a pound.

With lipo, the same applies. I am able to suction out the fat, but fat just doesn’t weigh that much. In the ‘pound of feathers vs pound of lead’ comparison, fat is in the feather category and a tissue like muscle is in the lead category.

What these operations are really intended to do is to shape and contour your figure by trimming off inches. They tighten loose skin and remove stubborn fat pockets to balance your body and improve your shape. They also change dress sizes for a lot of patients. So many patients tell me they have to buy larger sizes to accomodate their thighs or hips or tummy only to have their jeans or pants then be too loose every where else. These are the kinds of problems Lipo and Tummy Tucks do improve.

I hope this helps to answer the weight loss question. If you have questions please contact us at (502) 721 0330 or via our Virtual Consultation page at www.CorbettCosmeticSurgery.com

Lee Corbett, MD

Medical Director Corbett Cosmetic Aesthetic Surgery and Med Spa

Tummy tuck or Liposuction? Which one do I need?

This might be one of the most common body contouring questions I answer. And the answer is really pretty straightforward…sometimes. So lets explore this one.

Basic issues:

Liposuction removes only fat, and if you choose SmartLipo, it will tighten skin.

Tummy Tucks remove skin and fatty tissue and tightens your muscles.

So, they are really very different operations and which is right for you depends on what your expectations are.  If you are looking for maximal tightening of your abdomen, a tummy tuck is the right choice. Now, with this comes an expanded procedure, more recovery, more downtime, more costs, but more result. Its a very powerful operation that produces very dramatic results.

I really like my Smart Lipo. In my opinion, this is truly the best option if you are considering lipo. It reduces the amount of pain, swelling, bruising, and overall recovery associated with lipo. Smart Lipo works by using lasers to both melt your fat cells and to heat the under surface of your skin to give a tightening effect. It is basically a “kinder, gentler” way to re-contour and it has the benefit of tightening your skin more than traditional lipo can.

Which option is best for you depends on your starting point and your goals/expectations.

Lee Corbett, MD, FACS

Member, American Society of Plastic  Surgeons

Certified, American Board of Plastic  Surgery