Is a Drain Necessary for Breast Reduction?

I am going to have a breast reduciton surgery next week, my size is 36D and would like to have 2 cup smaller. the doctor told me that I dont need drain for this surgery is that required? as another doctor told me he is going to put the drain for me for 3 days.

Doctor Answers 17

Drains not necessary

A drain is not necessary for breast reduction. Using a drain depends on the surgeon and the surgical technique applied.

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

362 Fairlawn Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M5M 1T6

Drains and Breast Reduction?

Thank you for the question.

The use of drains  for breast reduction surgery is surgeon  dependent ( not “mandatory”).

 Best wishes with your upcoming surgery.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,054 reviews

8851 Center Drive
San Diego, CA 91942

Drains in Breast Reduction are Surgeon Preference

Hi there-

Some surgeons will always use a drain, some do so on a case by case basis, and some never would...

The important thing is to find a surgeon with experience and skill- then trust them to do what they do best...

For some advice on how to find such a surgeon, please refer to this:

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 147 reviews

7009 Dr. Phillips Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32819

To Drain or not to Drain

Every plastic surgeon is different in the way they manage patients.  It is based on that surgeon's experience.  So drains are not mandatory in breast reductions.

Dr. ES

Earl Stephenson, Jr., MD, DDS, FACS
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

2220 Wisteria Drive
Snellville, GA 30078

drain necessary for breast reduction

This is a standard of care issue. If the majority of boarded PS's are using some form of a drainage system than it seems to be a good idea. I use them in 90% of my reductions, for 24 hours to days.


Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

6330 Manor Lane
Miami, FL 33143

Drains are NOT required in every Breast Reduction Surgery

I have not used drains in breast reduction in years.

Drains are used to help remove any extra fluid that accumulates in the surgical area. Some procedure are more likely than others to be associated with fluid collections and as such those patients would benefit from drains. Ultimately, the use of drains in a case come to represent each surgeon's security blanket / comfort zone and belief systems all wrapped together. The dogmatic hard core surgeons (seen more in Orthopedic and general surgery) "always" use drains. There are others who "never" use them claiming they are never needed. Finally, you have a large group in between who may use them occasionally if they are worried of fluid formation in THAT patient. There is inherently nothing wrong with their use as long as they are not kept in too long.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

6401 Poplar Avenue
Memphis, TN 38119

Drains safer after breast reduction.


Ther is really no downside to drains, and they can prevent fluid collection.  Just a little uncomfortable.  For breast reduction in Manhattan, we usually use drains.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

875 Park Ave at 78th Street
New York, NY 10075

Breast Reduction technique

Drains are used to remove blood or fluid from a surgical site. They are usually not necessary in Breast Reduction. However, occasionally, a particular patient will have more oozing or fluid accumulation at the time of surgery than usual. In these cases I don’t hesitate to use a drain. As the old adage says, “It’s better to be safe than sorry.” Using a drain when it is not needed is much simpler than not doing so when it is needed.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

209 Hospital Drive
Highlands, NC 28741

Drains are sometimes used for breast reduction

You have been given the opinion of multiple surgeons and you can see there is not an exact answer to your question.  Most surgeon do not use drains with breast reductions particularly if the reduction is not for an enormous breast.  Some surgeons use a drain routinely.  My practice is to not use a drain unless there is a large amount of reduction, such as 1000 grams from each breast.

Best Wishes,

Marcus L. Peterson, MD
Saint George Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

676 South Bluff Street
St. George, UT 84770

Breast Reduction and Drain Use

In 99% of my breast reductions, I do not use drains.  However, if I feel it is necessary, then I will put one.  You do not need to be scared of a drain.  It is placed to allow excess fluid to drain instead of collecting below the tissues.  It is normally removed within a few days and leaves a minimal scar if anything.  Good luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

10 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022

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.