Looking good or, at least better, immediately after plastic surgery

December 6, 2011

A new technology eliminating surgical drains is available in Europe and will be tested here shortly.
A new technology eliminating surgical drains is available in Europe and will be tested here shortly.

Finally, after months of indecision, consultations and research, you’ve bitten the bullet and gotten a facelift. The plastic surgeon reports everything went perfectly and you are cleared to head home to your fully stocked refrigerator and in-home entertainment system. You anticipate clear sailing until you and your loved ones see your face that has multiple liquid-filled plastic tubes emerging from it, like wires from a cable box. You flinch when someone says, “Honey, you look terrific.”

According to Forbes.com, November 18th, 2011, “Drainage tubes have long been one of medicine’s necessary evils.” After surgery, there is an open wound. Layers of tissue need to be securely reattached to each other before the wound is stapled or sewn. Without this, fluid will accumulate in the wound space. A surgical drain, a tube used to remove pus, blood or other fluids from a wound, may be necessary to drain body fluid so it does not accumulate and promote infection.

A new technology that eliminates unsightly surgical drains became available in Europe two months ago. TissuGlu Surgical Adhesive purports to hold the layers of tissue in place and prevent fluid accumulation, reducing the need for drainage. It is a biocompatible material, which means it can be broken down and assimilated back in the body. This is not the first tissue glue that’s been on the market, but it is said to be five times stronger than any commercially available product used in soft-tissue surgical procedures.

According to the chairman of plastic surgery at a Wesseling, Germany hospital, in using this product, “fluid accumulation was dramatically reduced. The faster an adhesive can seal the wound, so that tissues can’t be pulled apart is what controls fluid accumulation.” TissuGlu is delivered three drops at a time onto the open wound through a handheld applicator that automatically releases it.

If what promoters say is true, TissuGlu certainly beats rubber drainage tubes, which may become infected, clogged or leak. However, TissuGlu Surgical Adhesive is not yet approved for use in the U.S. or any other country outside of the EU. First clinical trials here will be in 2012. If you’re planning to undergo plastic surgery, ask your board-certified plastic surgeon about his use of drains or adhesive materials. 


The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to www.surgery.org

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About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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