How Long to Wear the Drains After Strattice Breast Surgery?

Doctor Answers 6

Drains and Breast Augmentation Surgery

As a general rule, plastic surgeons usually remove drains placed during breast surgery (i.e. breast augmentation with implants, breast lift, or a breast augmentation with breast lift)  when the drains are putting out less than 20-30 cc of fluid per day; drains are thus usually removed within 5 days of surgery.

However, because your breast surgery required the use of Strattice, you may have more drainage and require drains for a longer period of time.  Removing drains too early can result in unwanted fluid collections underneath the skin.

Jaime Perez, M.D.

Breast Augmentation Specialist in Tampa, Florida

Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa, Florida

Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

How long for drains

Drain duration varies from surgeon to surgeon but most suggest less than 20cc over a 24 hr period.  I usually like to see that amount or less for 2 consecutive days.

In my experience of over 250 patients Strattice produces less fluid than Alloderm and usual duration is 5-7 days.


Dr B

Bradley Bengtson, MD, FACS
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

How Long to Wear the Drains After Strattice Breast Surgery?

Thank you for the question. When acellular dermal matrix is utilized, there seems to be more fluid accumulation present. For this reason, I utilize two drains for each breast and leave the drains in place until the output is very low.  For most patients, in my practice, the drains are removed some where between 5 to 10 days postoperatively. Keep in mind, that it is very important that no fluid accumulates between the acellular dermal matrix and the underlying tissues, as the dermis "incorporates" into the patient's native tissues.

I hope this, and the attached link, helps. Best wishes.

When do Drains Come Out

In my practice, Drains are typically removed when they drain 30 cc or less clear straw colored fluid per drain per day. However different surgeons have different approaches to drain management and you should only follow your own surgeon's advise.

Rule to thumb with drains is when they stop draining

"When drains stop draining" is the "rule of thumb" used for the duration of time a drain remains in place. In practice, there is substantial variability in the duration of time. For cosmetic breast surgery, most surgeons leave drains in place until drainage is less that 30 mls for the preceding 24 hr period. This usually takes place less than 5 days following a surgical procedure. The uses of material such as Srattice may increase drainage and delay removal of drains. When drainage is prolonged, a surgeon must weight the risk of infection from prolonged placement of drains to the problems associated with seroma from drain removal. Antibiotic coverage is used frequently when prolonged placement of drains is necessary.

Chen Lee, MD
Montreal Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Use of Drains with Strattice

When I use Strattice in breast surgery, I wail until the drains are putting out less than 20 cc oer day to remove. This is generally 1-2 weeks. Drains are important to avoid fluid build-up that could keep the Strattice from healing to the breast. I also keeo my patients on oral antibiotics the entire time they have drains.

Karen Vaniver, MD
Kennewick Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 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.