What is the “no drain” tummy tuck method that Dr. Wiener uses?

By on 08/17/2014 in Tummy Tuck

The tummy tuck operation has been around for many years. Few major advancements have been made in the surgery, however. The scar is still a big concern, as is the annoyance of having drains in place for up to two weeks. A number of years ago, a colleague of mine, Harlan Pollock, and later his son, Todd, developed the progressive tension suture technique. This is a method of using absorbable sutures underneath the skin during the tummy tuck to hold the skin flap in place against the underlying muscle tissues. The advantages are not needing to use a drain, less chance of a postoperative fluid collection developing, a better scar, and in my experience, a better shape to the waistline. The downside for the plastic surgeon is that it adds time to the surgery. With the progressive tension method, expect to have some folds and creases in the skin for 4-6 weeks, which will eventually smooth out. I have developed a modification to the original progressive tension suture technique that has been published in the plastic surgery literature, in which a continuous suture technique is used rather than multiple interrupted sutures. This greatly speeds up the suturing and maintains the result of the progressive tension sutures. A few years ago, the Pollocks invited me to come in as a co-instructor to their progressive tension suture course and the annual meeting of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, and I am now a regular faculty member each year for that course, teaching my variation of that technique. This method of tummy tuck surgery produces a superior result and is much more convenient and comfortable when no drains have to be used.