Breast surgery is one of the most popular cosmetic procedure performed in the UK. However, most patients who undergo breast surgery often have many concerns about how to recover. Some of the most commonly asked questions concerning recovery from breast surgery involve the surgical drains after breast surgery. Let’s talk about drains after breast surgery and what you can expect.
What are Drains After Breast Surgery?
Drains after breast surgery are usually part of the recovery requirements after undergoing certain breast procedures. Drains are tubes that are inserted into the soft tissue of your breast after surgery to help drain excess fluids that build up on the surgical site. Drains after breast surgery play a vital role in your recovery process and should be effectively managed following your surgeon’s instructions. A drain is used to reduce swelling and bruising that’s caused by fluid collecting at the incision site.
Types of Breast Surgeries that Require Drains
Not all breast surgeries require drains when it comes to recovery, only those that fluid collects during the healing process. In addition, the tubes placed often range from one to five, depending on the amount of breast tissue removed. Breast surgeries that require drains include:
- Breast implant removal
- Breast reconstructive procedures
- Mastectomy, which involves breast removal surgery to treat breast cancer
Other breast surgeries, such as breast augmentation, often do not require drains.
How to Care For Drains After Breast Surgery
While At Hospital
Immediately after you undergo any breast surgeries named above, your recovery room nurse will immediately ask you to be careful with your drains. In addition, your nurse will frequently empty your drains, carefully demonstrating how it is done. They will also record the amount of drainage from each tube and instruct you to do the same until the drains are removed.
Before leaving the hospital, your healthcare team will evaluate your drain management to ensure everything is in order. Your doctor will also highlight the different symptoms to watch out for, and how to react in case they happen. For example, they may instruct you to call and schedule a follow-up visit.
While at Home
While at home, it is always advisable to have a person to help you with the process. You are also required to follow the procedures and instructions previously demonstrated by your doctor. Always ensure that you wash your hands before and after handling the drains from breast surgery. Additionally, always log each measurement before emptying the drains as instructed in the hospital. Always ensure that the insertion section remains clean and dry to avoid the entry of bacteria, which could lead to infections.
Signs and Symptoms of Infection
It’s important to know the signs and symptoms that may indicate that your insertion section is infected, including:
- Redness of the skin surrounding the insertion area.
- Increasing pain and discomfort at your drain sites.
- A high temperature or fever
- Sudden change in the color and consistency of the drainage fluid.
- The firmness of the area where the drain exits your body.
Taking care of drains after breast surgery is a core step toward full recovery after undergoing breast surgery. If you are considering undergoing breast surgery and have questions about the recovery, contact the Harley Clinic team and book a consultation.