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 in Breast Reduction are Surgeon Preference

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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:

drain necessary for breast reduction

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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

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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

Drains safer after breast reduction.

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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

Drains are sometimes used for breast reduction

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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

Breast Reduction and Drain Use

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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.

Drains for breast reductions

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Drains are often used for breast reductions and I used to do that on thousands of them for years.  But I stopped doing that about 5 years ago and haven't noticed any problems from the change.  So it is just a personal surgeon choice, nothing wrong with using them.

Drains after reduction

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Drains are a personal choice. There are often not needed but they can be helpful and should be used if there is any risk of significant bleeding. I personally rarely use or need drains.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Drain for Breast Reduction

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Whether or not to place a drain following breast reduction surgery is an individual surgeon's decision, although I am sure if you desired to have a drain most surgeons would capitulate.  For many years I did not use drains with this procedure, but I have for 8-10 years.  I feel that my patients have less swelling and bruising with the use of drains.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

A matter of opinion....

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Some surgeons drain their breast reductions. I do not usually. It is a matter of opinion.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon

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.