Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 91–97 | Cite as

Continuous Negative Pressure Drain is Associated with Better Outcome: A Randomized Prospective Trial in Plastic Surgery Patients

  • Ting Jiang
  • Jun Li
  • Jun RenEmail author
Original Article Facial Surgery



A randomized prospective trial to compare the effects on minimizing complications using continuous negative pressure drain and intermittent suction mode in plastic surgeries.


There were 174 cases of stage II post-auricular flap expansion and ear reconstruction, 76 cases of skin expansion flap repair, 56 cases of breast augmentation surgery, 58 cases of abdominoplasty, and 76 cases with free skin grafts. Patients were randomized to intermittent suction mode group (control group) and continuous negative pressure external drain group (intervention group) stratified by surgery types. In the intervention group, different pressure levels were applied according to the surgery types. The drainage volume, the length of time of external drainage, incidence of seroma, flap necrosis, the first intending healing rate and drain-associated bleeding were recorded and compared.


Generally, fewer complications and better healing were observed in the intervention group. In patients with stage II post-auricular flap expansion and ear reconstruction, lower incidence of flap necrosis and seroma, higher first intention healing rate, greater drain volume but shorter time of drainage were observed in the intervention group (p < 0.05 for all). Similar results were shown in patients with skin expansion flap repair, breast augmentation, abdominoplasty, and free skin grafts. In patients who underwent free skin grafts, a higher graft success rate and lower graft infection rate were also observed (p < 0.01 for both). No drain-associated bleeding was observed.


A continuous negative pressure drain was associated with better outcomes in patients underwent various plastic surgeries and is a powerful technique in the postoperative management of plastic surgery.

Level of Evidence II

This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors


Continuous negative pressure drain Flap graft Intermittent drain Plastic surgery 



This work was supported by grants from the clinical study of continuous negative pressure drainage in the observation of curative effect after plastic surgery, Wuhan Municipal Health Bureau [2012] 70WX12C43.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors report no proprietary or commercial interest in any product mentioned or concept discussed in this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature and International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical Cosmetology and Plastic SurgeryThe Third Hospital of Wuhan CityWuhan CityChina

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