Drain-Free Tummy Tuck with Tissue Glue (TissuGlu)
Drains are the worst part of tummy tuck recovery for many patients. Now with Tissue Glue (TissuGlu), drains are not necessary for most patients.
Why are drains used in tummy tucks surgery?
After a tummy tuck, the skin has been elevated to allow all skin excess to be removed. This leaves a potential space between the muscle and skin that has been elevated that often fills with fluid. If fluid build up is excessive, a seroma results which puts the patient at risk of infection or a thick scar tissue build up. Drains are used to prevent this fluid build up for the first one to two weeks. Even with a drain, the rate of seroma is around 20% with standard techniques. Patients hate these drains, they are uncomfortable, inconvenient and require a removal procedure.
What is TissuGlu?
A new innovation in tummy tuck surgery, Tissue Glue (TissuGlu) is a strong tissue adhesive which is used to seal the space between the abdomen muscles and skin flap, preventing fluid accumulation and movement or shear of the tissues. The amount of fluid accumulation is low enough that drains are not necessary.
Can drain-free tummy tucks be performed without TissuGlu?
Yes, with a quilting type of suture closure called progressive tension sutures some plastic surgeons offer a no drain tummy tuck. Although effective, in Dr. Yates opinion the degree of strength and dead space closure is inferior to that which can be achieved with TissuGlu. Furthermore, the progressive tension sutures can cause dimpling of the skin, risk skin flap compromise, and lengthen surgical times. Dr. Yates has been using progressive tension sutures since 2012 and found TissuGlu a welcome innovation.
How do I know if I am a candidate for TissuGlu?
Most tummy tuck patients are candidates for TissuGlu. The studies using TissuGlu demonstrated excellent results for patients with a BMI of 28 or less. It may not have the same benefit for heavier patients.