Drainless Tummy Tuck

If you’ve had one or more babies or lost a significant amount of weight, you deserve to celebrate what your body has achieved. You also deserve to love how your tummy looks now as much as you did before (or more). If you’re looking to get rid of the loose skin and separated muscles common after these changes, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Thomas Hagopian can help with a drainless tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) in Atlanta, GA.

On this page, you’ll find answers to all your questions about tummy tucks, from the benefits they offer to what you can expect as you recover. Learn all about how this surgery can help you reclaim your shape and reinvigorate your body confidence.

Featured Drainless Tummy Tuck Before & After Photos


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What Is a Drainless Tummy Tuck?

A drainless tummy tuck is a cosmetic procedure that tightens loose skin on the abdomen and repairs separated abdominal muscles (diastasis recti) without the use of post-surgical drains.

What Are the Benefits of a Drainless Tummy Tuck?

A traditional tummy tuck requires post-surgical drains to prevent fluid buildup as you heal. While this reduces your risk of a seroma (fluid accumulation), drains have to be regularly emptied and monitored during recovery, and they require removal at a separate follow-up appointment. Many people find post-surgical drains an uncomfortable and cumbersome part of tummy tuck recovery.

A drainless tummy tuck, however, uses progressive tension sutures to prevent fluid buildup at the source. These layered sutures compress the area, eliminating open pockets and encouraging your body to reabsorb excess fluid harmlessly. The result is a faster, more manageable recovery with the same attractive outcome.

Who Is a Candidate for a Drainless Tummy Tuck?

An ideal candidate is someone in good general health who wants to improve the shape and tone of their abdomen after weight loss or pregnancy. Keep in mind that a tummy tuck is not a weight loss procedure; it works best when you are maintaining a stable weight at or near your goal. Abdominoplasty surgery corrects:

  • Loose skin and stretch marks on the abdomen
  • Excess fat deposits on the midsection
  • Separated abdominal muscles that contribute to a protruding belly

If you have good skin elasticity and your concerns are limited to extra fat in the midsection, you may be better suited for SAFELipo. If you’re also looking to enhance your breasts at the same time, you may be a good candidate for a mommy makeover.

How Much Does a Drainless Tummy Tuck Cost?

Starting at $6,000

The cost of a drainless tummy tuck in Atlanta starts at $6,000, or $7,000 with liposuction. The cost can vary depending on the complexity of the procedure and other factors. We will give you a personalized pricing estimate as part of your consultation.

How Is a Drainless Tummy Tuck Performed?

Dr. Hagopian performs your drainless tummy tuck while you are under general anesthesia. During the outpatient surgery, he creates an incision low on your abdomen from hip bone to hip bone and another encircling your bellybutton to release it from the surrounding skin. He then closes the abdominal muscles if needed, pulls your skin taut, trims away any excess, and closes the incision.

Once he tightens your abdominal skin, he makes a new opening for your bellybutton, suturing it closed carefully to give it an inconspicuous and natural look. In some cases, liposuction is added to remove excess fat and sculpt your ideal contours.

Meet The Team

Dr. Thomas M. Hagopian

Dr. Thomas M. Hagopian

Plastic surgery is the perfect field for Dr. Hagopian, who has a knack for fixing things and helping people. He’s a former firefighter/paramedic, and he had a business building highly sought-after custom taillights in medical school. He met his wife, Nurse Hagopian, at Emory University, and they bonded over many shared interests, including a commitment to exceptional patient care.

Meet Dr. Thomas Hagopian Dr. Thomas M. Hagopian is board-certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery
Chelsea O. P. Hagopian

Nurse Chelsea O. P. Hagopian

Nurse Hagopian is an Atlanta native, a self-identified nursing ethics nerd, and an ANCC board-certified adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner. She’s passionate about studying informed consent, empowering fellow nurses to use their voices, and collaborating with people in addressing their aesthetic care needs.

Meet Nurse Hagopian

What Is Drainless Tummy Tuck Recovery Like?

Most people need 2 to 3 weeks away from work to recover from a tummy tuck and 4 to 6 weeks to resume exercise. You will walk stooped over for a few days until your tighter skin stretches a little. It may take 6 months or more for your swelling to subside completely.

We use long-acting numbing medications and enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols to enhance your comfort and minimize your need for narcotic pain medications. Additionally, not having to hassle with external drains is a big enhancement to our patients’ recovery.

What Do Drainless Tummy Tuck Scars Look Like?

Tummy tuck scars sit low on your abdomen in an area easily hidden, even by swimwear. These scars eventually fade to thin, light lines. We offer multiple scar reduction therapies to minimize scarring, including microneedling, steroid injections, and silicone gel strips from the Silagen® scar refinement system.

How Long Do Tummy Tuck Results Last?

As long as you maintain a stable weight and avoid future fluctuations or pregnancies, your tummy tuck results should last for good.

Begin Your Journey

If you would like to learn more about whether a drainless tummy tuck is right for you, please request a consultation online or call (404) 885-8542. Our Atlanta office welcomes people interested in tummy tuck surgery from Inman Park, Druid Hills, Decatur, and throughout Georgia.

A Reputation Built on Results

Words cannot express my gratitude enough to Dr. Hagopian and his amazing staff for the thorough and...
Phenomenal experience!! And I work in this industry with medical tourism in 3 countries, the PA and...
Dr. Hagopian is the best. He did a great job and I couldn't be happier with my results. He is very caring...
The staff is so nice. Best in Atlanta.. Dr. Hagopain took great care of me from beginning to end and...

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a tummy tuck/abdominoplasty?  

Abdominoplasty, colloquially referred to as a tummy tuck, is a procedure to remove extra skin and fat from the abdomen. The goal of this surgery is to improve the contour, or shape of the abdomen. 

How is abdominoplasty different from liposuction? 

Abdominoplasty is removal of the skin and lifting portion on the abdomen, as well as tightening the rectus (6-pack) muscles. Liposuction simply destroys and removes fat cells and doesn’t address the skin or the muscles. 

Will I have drains? 

You will not have drains, but this is deemed necessary by your surgeon at the time of surgery and he or she will prepare you if you need them. 

Is abdominoplasty covered by insurance? 

Abdominoplasty does not fall under the medically necessary category of plastic surgery. It is an out-of-pocket procedure in our practice. 

Are there exclusionary criteria? 

BMI, or body mass index, over 37 would exclude you from abdominoplasty. People who smoke cigarettes are also not candidates. Hernias are another common reason behind exclusion from abdominoplasty. If you have a history of hernias or have a large and/or complicated hernia, you may need to repair them beforehand depending on the size and type of hernia. Small hernias can be repaired at the time of surgery and may be covered by insurance. 

What are the minor and major complications? Signs and symptoms? 

The most serious complication is a blood clot. Although this is rare, it is a medical emergency. Signs of a blood clot include swelling to one leg with pain and redness in the area or difficulty breathing or chest pain. If you experience these symptoms, immediately report to the emergency room for evaluation. 

The minor complications after abdominoplasty are wound healing issues, hematoma, infection, or seroma. 

A seroma is a fluid collection and small seromas will typically heal on their own. A seroma that is the same size or shrinking will often go away. Targeted compression on these smaller seromas will help them heal fast. A hematoma is a blood collection that typically is hard and painful. There can be skin changes (redness, darkening, bruising). Usually, hematomas go away on their own, but if they are growing or become extremely uncomfortable then additional surgery may be required. Both are usually unilateral, meaning one-sided. 

Occasionally a wound can form on the incision, usually in the center of the incision in the area under the highest tension. This can happen for a number of reasons including infection, tension, or the skin not getting enough blood at the end of surgery. Usually, these wounds are small and heal with a little ointment and a band-aid, but sometimes they can be large and require treatment at a wound care clinic. 

What are the restrictions for activity after abdominoplasty? 

You may return to light activity at 3 weeks and most exercises at 6 weeks. Light activity encompasses walking or stationary cycling, for example, without breaking a sweat. Wait 3 months for heavy core work. 

Do I need compression? What kind of compression is best? 

You will begin with a compression garment like a girdle or binder. At week 1, we recommend switching to a “faja” for more intense compression. The surgical team will provide your medical compression on the day of surgery and your secondary garment to begin wearing at 1-week post-op. 

Click here to see our recommended compression and order straight from Amazon 

How soon after abdominoplasty can I shower?  

You can shower 48 hours (about 2 days) after surgery. Let warm, soapy water run over the incisions. Do not scrub and pat dry any incisions thoroughly, but gently. 

How soon can I return to work? 

Return to work in 2-3 weeks, depending on your activity level at work. 

What if I am not happy with my scars or appearance after everything heals? 

Remember that the swelling after surgery may take weeks to months to completely resolve. At the 3-month mark we typically take the “after” pictures, which is when your swelling and appearance will be mostly settled. Small areas of asymmetry can sometimes be fixed with a little in-office liposuction if required.  

Scar revision is another in-office procedure that can help the appearance of your scars after surgery. If you are prone to keloids, please tell your surgeon beforehand so we can pre-treat you. If keloids develop after surgery and you have not had keloids before, steroid injections may improve hypertrophy.