I had gynecomastia surgery 5 days ago and concerned about leakage at drain tube site on left side (Photo)

After surgery there was some leakage on left side and nurse applied gauze under chester binder. Two days later when I first took off binder to wash myself, I noticed some blood pooled under tape where drain tube is inserted. Today when cleaning I noticed some blood on chest binder where fluid leaked out. I spoke to the Dr on call and he said not to be concerned and I can apply new tape. I'm worried the tube might come out. I go back in two days to have tubes removed. Should I be concerned?

Doctor Answers 6

Problems with Leakage After Surgery

BRUISING AND SWELLING: Bruising and swelling are normal and usually increase slightly after the removal of any tape or foam. The bruising will decrease over 3-4 weeks, but may last as long as 6 weeks. The majority of the swelling will be gone within the first 3-4 weeks. However, it may take 6-9 weeks to disappear completely. The compression garment helps reduce the swelling, and the longer it is worn, the more quickly you will heal.

NUMBNESS: It is normal to experience numbness around the areola and chest. As your body heals, you may notice random bursts of pain in your chest. This is usually a sign that the numbness is subsiding.

LUMPINESS: As you heal, the area may feel “lumpy” and irregular. This, too, decreases with time, and massaging these areas will help soften the scar tissue.

ACTIVITIES: If your work keeps you sedentary, you may return whenever you feel up to it. If your work is strenuous, wait until your work activity does not cause pain. Wait at least 4 weeks to begin aerobic exercise.

As with all operations, pain and discomfort varies greatly from patient to patient. Generally, one should expect that pain medication will be required for the first several days. Continuing discomfort can last varying amounts of time.

Now, since there is drainage that you are concerned about it would likely be best to visit your surgeon to have the area examined for proper healing and make sure there are no problems that need addressed. Best of luck.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

Drainage around tube

Fluid can drain around the tube sometimes. I wouldn't be too worried about that. Best to keep in close contact and follow-up with your surgeon.  Good luck.

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

Asymmetric leakage out of drainage tubes after gynecomastia.

Asymmetry is fairly common when drains are used. I don't see anything to be worried about based on the photographs only. You should feel comfortable calling your own surgeon about your concerns however.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Leakage around the drain

Leakage around a drain site for the first couple of days after the surgery is very normal and as time goes by, it becomes less leakage around the tube and it will just be inside the tube. With regards to applying the tape its okay just becareful not to pull the drain out. I would recommend have someone help you with that like you stabilize the drain while the other person place the tape on. It looks like you have a very nice result.

Kamran Azad, MD
Pasadena Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Leakage around drain

Leakage around a drain site is quite normal.  Just as fluid makes its way into the tubing, some can come out around the tubing.  If your surgeon (or his or her covering colleague) said that you can apply new tape, you should feel free to do so.  Your concern about pulling out the drain is understandable, but careful tape replacement making sure not to pull very much on the drain shouldn't pose a problem.  However, if you aren't comfortable, it certainly isn't necessary to replace the tape.  You can place some gauze over the area that is leaking to prevent it from getting on your garment or clothing.  I completely understand your concern, but rest assured that this is quite common and not a cause for alarm.  By the way, it looks like you have a very nice early result from your surgery.  Congratulations.

Kyle Shaddix, MD
Pensacola Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Gynecomastia surgery

It is not uncommon to have some fluid leak around the drain site as it is not completely watertight.  Of course if you are very concerned you should follow up with your operating surgeon immediately to have him or her answer any questions you may have about your postoperative recovery . 

James Shoukas, MD
Lake Mary Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 7 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.