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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 using a technique that I have termed 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.

I see them in my rooms a day or two after surgery and I am amazed with the fact that many have coped without resorting to strong pain killers and bruising is usually minimal.

Using this same technique, it is common for me to include breast surgery with the DDA and the vast majority of women feel comfortable to go home the same day.

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 would appear there are few other surgeons in the world performing Drainless, Day Procedure Abdominoplasty and it was my pleasure to present this technique to my colleagues in the Australasian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) conference in October 2022. In September 2023, I will be presenting this technique to my colleagues in the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ISAPS) in Athens.

Each of the images displayed have all been Drainless, Day Procedure, Abdominoplasties.