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DDA (Drainless, Day Procedure Abdominoplasty)

Abdominoplasty or tummy tuck remains one of the most popular procedures performed world-wide. When I was being trained as a plastic surgeon in the 1980’s, I was taught to perform wide undermining of the abdominal skin, never use liposuction at the same time, give everybody drains, and keep patients in hospital for three to five days. The post operative experience was unpleasant because it was painful to move, and women hate drains. Furthermore, although excess skin could be removed, any improvement in shape was limited because liposuction was thought to increase complications.

In the mid 1990’s, an American plastic surgeon showed that by slightly changing the usual technique, liposuction could safely be combined with a tummy tuck, to provide a nicer shaped, flatter and tighter tummy. I used this technique for 15 years and whilst the results were improved, it was still painful, I was still using drains (and women still hated them) and patients were still staying in hospital for up to 3 days.

I wondered if there was a way to still provide a nicer shaped, flatter and tighter tummy, but with less pain, no drains and no overnight hospital stay, so there was less down-time.

Since 2017, I have been performing a Drainless, Day-Procedure, Abdominoplasty or DDA. With the use of quilting sutures beneath the abdominal skin, a special long-acting local anaesthetic block numbing the nerves that normally cause the pain along with finely calibrated post-operative medication, no drains are necessary, and my patients get to sleep in their own bed on the night of the procedure.

Using this same technique, it is common for me to include breast surgery with the DDA with liposuction, performed as a day patient.

This is invasive surgery, and all invasive surgery requires a care period and carries risk. For a more detailed consideration of risk, please click on the RISK tab.

It was my pleasure to present the technique of Drainless, Day Procedure Abdominoplasty to my colleagues in the Australasian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) conference in October 2022. In September 2023, I presented the technique to my colleagues in the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ISAPS) in Athens, winning a silver medal for the presentation. In June 2024 I have again been invited to present the technique to the ISAPS meeting in Cartagena, Colombia.

Each of the images displayed have all been Drainless Day Procedure Abdominoplasties is combined with liposuction.


The outcomes shown are only relevant for this patient and do not necessarily reflect the results other patients may experience, as results may vary due to many factors including the individual’s genetics diet and exercise.