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.

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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.

Drain for breast reduction

Drains are not always necessary after a breast reduction.  In  most cases I will place them, but for some techniques it can be avoided.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

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:

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

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.


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 69 reviews

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

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.

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 23 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.