You can remove the gauze dressings the day after surgery. It is normal for a small amount of fluid to leak from the incisions for the first few days, especially if you have had liposuction. This fluid looks like "Cool-aid" or fruit-punch and is part of the normal healing process. If you have leaking fluid that persists more than 48 hours after surgery, call the office. If there is tape or adhesive strips directly on your incision, do not remove these. If they fall off in the shower there is no need for concern.
Tummy tuck surgery requires that you have one or two drains after surgery. These help drain the fluid that is produced under your skin as part of the healing process. Without drains, this fluid can accumulate, termed a seroma. In some cases, a single drain may be sufficient, and in rare instances no drains are needed at all. They stay in until the drainage is less than 25 ml per drain in a twenty four hour period. This usually takes 5-7 days, but can be shorter or longer in some cases. The drains are easy to take care of, and do not hurt to take out.