Are Drains Recommended After a Breast Reduction?

After years of the "phobia" of having a reduction, I plan to have the surgery the first week of August 2010. What is the opinion of having drains after having a reduction. I am a "dense" DDD wanting to go down to a C cup. After asking questions it appears that each doctor has their preference....

Doctor Answers 7

Drains after breast reduction

In most cases, I do not place drains for breast reductions.  However, each patient is different.  I would say that the larger the breast reduction, the increased need for drains.  If you have DDD breasts and have a significant reduction, you may need drains.  However, don't spend too much time worrying about the drains.  They really are not a big deal - if they are needed then so be it.  Good luck. 


New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Breast Reduction and Drains?

Thank you for the question.

Congratulations on your decision to proceed with breast reduction surgery; it is one of the most patient pleasing operations be performed.

You are correct in that some surgeons use drains, some don't;  if I were you I wouldn't be too concerned either way. As long as you have picked your plastic surgeon carefully you can be confident that you should do very well.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

Drains and breast reduction

Commonly drains are placed at the end of the procedure to remove unwanted fluid that may accumulate after surgery. They are usually removed within a week.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Drains and breast reduction

Use of drains vary from  none, to passive to active suction. There are no definitive studies supporting their use of effectiveness. However, I would guess that most surgeons do employ them.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Breast reduction

I have done many breast reductions and have very rarely used drains. Problems such as bleeding or seromas can occur with them so there really is no need for them. I do the surgery as an outpatient and the patient is in a bra within about five days. Fortunately, there is much less pain than implants and usually the patients can resume all activities within two weeks. Watch my video.

Edward J. Domanskis, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Drains after Breast reduction

Leave this decision up to your surgeon.  He will make the best decision based on what he actually does at surgery.  I do not make a hard and fast rule that every patient needs drains - they don't, but I cannot tell ahead of time who will and who will not.  It is a judgement call and you want the surgeon to keep your bes tinterests in mind and not be locked into not putting one in if needed.  They usually only remain about 1-3 days.

Theodore Katz, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Drains with Reduction Mammaplasty

The use of drains, as you point out, is generally an individual preference.  For many years I did not use drains, but I have used them for the past 4-5 years.  I feel this has resulted in less swelling and generally better healing post-operatively.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 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.