Does Breast Lift with Implant Require Painful Drain Tubes?

Is it possible to have the procedure Breast Lift with Breast Implants without using those drain tubes? They can add to post surgery discomfort. Thanks for your great answers. Very helpful website.

Doctor Answers (16)

Drains may be necessary depending on the type of breast lift

+2

For my standard breast augmentation patient I do not use drains. Depending on the amount of lift a patient needs with an augmentation, a drain may be helpful. If a small lift is required (routinely called a crescent lift), a drain is usually not necessary as the amount of dissection to achieve the lift is not extensive. If a more extensive lift is required (in which the lower portion of breast tissue requires rearrangement or removal to help lift the breast) a drain may be required. The purpose of a drain is to help prevent the accumulation of fluid within the breast which may cause a seroma or hematoma. This fuid may become infected and cause breast discomfort. Although the drains may be slightly uncomfortable, they do serve an important function and are not painful when removed.


Munster Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Drains are sometimes needed for breast augmentation with lift

+2

The use of drains with breast surgery is a matter of opinion as there are no clear cut right or wrong answers. The purpose of drains is to prevent serum or blood from collecting inside the surgical site. With implants, this fluid collection may increase the risk of postoperative complications. I use drains sometimes, based on my clinical judgement in the operating room. If I do use them, they usually are removed within 2 days after the surgery. I think that they may add to the discomfort of surgery, but not greatly. Remember that surgery is painful, but ultimately is of benefit. I would go with what your surgeon recommends for the best outcome in his or her hands. The drains should be no more than a minor inconvenience in the scheme of things.

Elizabeth Slass Lee, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Drain tubes after Breast Lift

+2

I do use them after breast lift, and they are short and very soft. My patients literally do not feel them while they are in, or when they come out (which is usually the next day).

John LoMonaco, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 180 reviews

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Use of drains for breast augmentation and lift

+2

The use of drains varies among plastic surgeons with the vast majority NOT using them for primary breast augmentations. There is no clear data to support their use but many surgeons continue to use them because they believe it reduces the risks of seroma or hematoma.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

I routinely use drains with breast lift and breast augmentation

+2

Some surgeons use drains routinely with breast lifts associated with breast enlargements while many others do not. The good news is that they don't usually hurt. The use of drains is important for me because I feel you get a much nicer looking breast when you put a textured silicone gel implant under the breast when doing this with a breast lift. In this case you need a drain in my opinion. If under the muscle than a drain is not as important. But going under the muscle also hurts more. So there is a trade off which ever way your surgeon goes.

Carl W. 'Rick' Lentz III, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Drains or not for breast lifts

+2

I personally do not use drains on first time breast lifts and or augmentations.  Secondary surgeries often reuire them but drains do not have to be scary or painful.  They serve a valuable purpose when they are necessary.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Drains helpful with breast implants plus lift

+2

The use of drains is subject to the surgeon's routine and preferences, but they are used to minimize swelling and speed the overall recovery process. I use them most of the time with the combination of a lift and implants. Most patients do not say they are painful though, and they typically can be removed within a couple of days.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

You don't need drains

+2

I do not use drains, but if your surgeon thinks they are needed then they will use them. They do not add pain to the surgery. This surgery has some pain the first day or two but it is reletively pain free.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Drains in breast surgery

+2

The use of drains in breast surgery is a very individual decision. Some surgeons use them routinely and others not at all. I rarely need to use them but will if necessary. I almost never use them for straight forward breast augmentation. If liposuction is used as well, I might put a small drain for 24 hours but they rarely cause discomfort.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Drains after breast lift

+1
Drains are not always necessary following a breast lift, however they may be necessary in some cases. Please see an experienced board certified plastic surgeon for a physical examination to find out whether you would require them. Best of luck!

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.