Persistent Drainage Issue After Bilateral Masectomy/Reconstruction Normal?

It has been over six weeks since my bilateral mascetomy/reconstruction with AlloDerm, and I am still draining 50ccs per 24 hour period. There does not appear to be an infection and breast and as well as the port area look fine. The doctor tells me "everyone is different" - but, THIS different? Will I ever stop draining? Why do some people drain more than others. I am getting very concerned. I was supposed to begin treatment for chemo (ACT therapy).

Doctor Answers 2

Prolonged Drainage following Breast Reconstruction

Dear Carol,

Prolonged drainage can be annoying and the drains are uncomfortable. I don't allow my patients to shower while they have their drains in, so they tend to be particularly unhappy when they end up staying for weeks and weeks.

Prolonged drainage sometimes happen. Most of the time it doesn't mean anything sinister - although sometime it can be a sign of infection. I will often send some of the drain fluid off for microbiology if I am concerned.

In the end, it is better to have a drain in rather than take the drain out and have the fluid accumulate and form a seroma. Seromas can become infected and cause you to lose the reconstruction. A drain, no matter how uncomfortable or persistent, is better than that.

I hope this helps.

Seromas and breast reconstruction

There is no one right recovery from surgery. SOme patients do develop seromas, and this may take some time to improve.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

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