How Long Should Drains Stay in After Breast Reduction?

My surgeon isn't planning on removing my drains until my 1 week followup which is 8 days later. Is it normal to have drain in that long after a breast reduction?? I am 24, going from a F/G cup to a D cup.

Doctor Answers 7

Breast reduction and drains

There are different philosophies when it comes to using drains after breast reduction.  I personally have never used drains with this procedure and have never had any problems attributed to not using drains.  If your surgeon uses drains, then he will probably wait until the output is below a certain level (usually < 30cc/day) before he removes it. This certainly could take a week. Good luck.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Drains after breast reduction



Drains are not standard after breast reduction surgery. Surgeons generally remove a drain when the amount coming out falls below a certain standard amount over a given day...usually 20-30 cc for that day.


Best Regards,


John Di Saia MD

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Drain removal

It is not unusual for drains to stay in for 1 week or more.. the removal of the drains depends on how much fluid is coming out.  In my practice, I usually remove the drains when the drainage is below 20cc in a 24 hour period.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

There Is No Absolute Time For Drain Removal

There are no absolutes for drain removal following breast reduction, tummy tuck, or any other procedure.  The timing varies a good bit among different surgeons.  Most surgeons time removal of drains to the volume of drainage rather than a specific time period post-operatively.  I typically remove most drains when the volume of drainage reaches a threshold of 30-40cc for a 24 hour period of time, although there are some exceptions to this rule and nothing is 100% in medicine and surgery.  If drains are removed too soon, there is a chance for a seroma to form which can be quite an aggravation.

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

How Long Should Drains Stay in After Breast Reduction?

In my experience the drains are usually in a couple of days after breast reduction, although it may be that your doctor is suggesting 8 days because this is when it is convenient to see him in his clinic.

Breast Reduction and drains

If drains are used after a breast reduction, they should stay in until the drainage is minimal, usually around 25cc per 24 hours.  It is not unusual for this to be 1 week or more. 

Stephen Delia, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Drains after breast reduction

Whether drains are used or not and how long they stay in is variable amongst different plastic surgeons.  There is no absolute right or wrong when it comes to this.  Your surgeons recommendation will be bases upon their personal experience and training.  I

Sanjiv Kayastha, MD
Albany Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 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.