Drains or no drains after breast augmentation?

Just curious as to why some women end up with drains and some don't... it seems the ladies with drains look a little more "settled" after BA surgery as opposed to those that don't... do drains help speed healing and the "drop and fluff" process, or is it just preferred by some PS'? Any other reasons why PS' choose to use drains? Just totally curious. Thanks!!

Doctor Answers 24

Drains After Breast Augmentation?

The majority of surgeons do not use drains when doing a primary breast augmentation because the surgery should be done in a precise and meticulous fashion with as little tissue trauma as possible. Having a drain will not speed healing and should have no effect on the process of the settling of the implant. On a rare occasion there may be a reason that a surgeon would choose to use a drain but this should be a very uncommon occurrence.

Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

No Need For Straight Forward Aug

Hello, and thank you for your question. For a straight forward, primary (first-time) breast augmentation, drains are not necessary. I will occasionally use drains for mastopexies (breast lifts) and implant exchanges, also, with capsulectomies (removing capsules of tissue around existing implants). Every surgeon has their own preferences, but I would consider drains in a primary breast augmentation rare, and unnecessary added risk of infection. Best of luck!

Mark E. Mason, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Drains after breast augmentation?

I never use drains after a straight forward breast augmentation. In certain cases such as breast implant removal and replacement, drains may be used.

Paul M. Parker, MD, FACS
Paramus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Drains for Breast Augmentation? #breastaugmentation #breastimplants

  • I never use drains for breast augmentation.  
  • The vast majority of plastic surgeons do not use drains with breast augmentation.
  • Some plastic surgeons may use drains when placing shaped, or "anatomical," breast implants because of the concern with implant rotation.  However, most of us no longer use drains even with even shaped implants. 
  • Drains help to prevent fluid collections called seromas. 
  • Seromas with breast augmentation are exceedingly rare.

Joshua Cooper, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Drains with BA

In my experience, when breast augmentation is done by meticulous dissection within electrocautery tweezer, there is little if any bleeding that would necessitate placement of a drain. Should a more rough or blunt dissection be done, this tearing of tissues may necessitate removal of extra fluid using a drain. The drain has nothing to do with the dropping or fluffing process. Hope this is helpful.

Marc J. Salzman, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 54 reviews


Every surgeon has his/her preference when to use drains. I do not routinely use drains for breast augmentations since bleeding is minimal, and there is an increased risk of infection with drains. For surgeries that have an increase in bleeding, like tummy tucks, I do use drains. Drains will not help the drop and fluff process.

Connie Hiers, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Drains After Breast Augmentation

While the majority of plastic surgeons do not use a drain for primary breast augmentation, you may be surprised at the volume of serous drainage that is removed when a drain is employed.  For many reasons your surgeon may choose to use a drain.  They can explain their reasoning as to benefits.  It is not right or wrong to use a drain, and as more of the other answers imply, your surgeon will make the choice they feel is in your best interest.

Kevin Bounds, MD
Virginia Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Drains not needed

after routine augmentations with smooth round implants... but if using textured anatomic implants, drains are possible to help the tissue heal better around your implants as you want your pocket to hug your implant.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews


Drains are not typically used in a primary breast augmentation. They may be used in revision surgery, capsulectomy, or after breast reconstruction 

Arko Demianczuk, MD
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Drains or no Drains

Thank you for your question. I do not use drains after first time breast augmentations. I do use drains after reversion breast augmentations. 

Mary Jo Wright, MD
El Paso Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 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.