How do you unclog drains? I see it stuck in my line but nothing is moving (Photo)

The blood residue J's. Stuck right at the tip of the bulb. I have squeezed and still non coming outer may be thick particulars in there so I try to massage it but it doesn't work. I can see some areas are with out clots

Doctor Answers 3

"stripping the drains"

If you feel like the drains are not moving fluid as well and maybe clogged then the drains need to be "stripped." This is something that is pretty difficult to explain and if done wrong can lead to problems. The main thing is you want to make sure you are always moving the material in the tube towards the bulb and NEVER towards the abdomen! You can find some good videos on you tube as my colleague has suggested or you can make an appointment with your plastic surgeon and have someone on the staff show you how to do it. Once you see it, practice in front of them and then you will have it down! If you know how to do it, but the clog is just stubborn then once again visiting your plastic surgeon will be helpful because they may be able to get it unclogged. I hope this helps. Good luck!

Ankur Mehta MD

Sugar Land Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Unclogging surgical drains

To unclog surgical drains, take one hand and pinch off the tube above the clot.  With the other hand, squeeze the tube to pinch it off and slide your fingers down the tube (while still squeezing the tube) toward the drain bulb.  It's sort of like milking a cow!  This should get the clot to slide down.  Your PS or his staff can demonstrate this if the instructions weren't clear.  

Victor Ferrari, MD, FACS
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Unclogging Surgical Drains

Dear WaitinginTn,

In order to get the fluid moving through the tubes again you should be milking or stripping the drain. If your surgeon did not demonstrate this, or the directions weren't clear, my patients have found that youtube has some good videos if you search "milking JP drains". It is always better to watch it done than to try to explain it. This technique should help move the fluid into the JP bulbs. Even after doing this there is usually at least some fluid still in the tubes, that doesn't indicate that the bulbs are clogged, so if the drainage is still collecting in the bulbs and the bulbs stay compressed (and therefore create the suction needed to pull the fluid) than they are still doing their job.  Always better to double check with your operating surgeon as well. Good luck!

Richard A. Bartlett, MD
Brookline Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 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.