Drains V. Compression After Explant?

I'm explanting in early August, 7 months after initial explant (I'm 25, no kids, no weight gain/loss). My doctor is performing a capsulectomy, reattaching the muscle to the chest wall, and raising the crease (due to severe bottoming out). He is placing drains after surgery for approximately a week. I'm wondering what the difference between compression and drains are, and why some doctors are against using drains? I'm concerned that having drains will leave yet more scars.

Doctor Answers 5

Using drains or compression after breast implant removal

Whenever there is a space left behind after surgery, there is a concern that the body can fill that space with fluid (serum, blood,etc.) which can then lead to unwanted fullness and scarring and even delayed healing.  To try to minimize the chance of this happening, drains and/or compression can be used.  Which is used depends on many factors.  Some factors include the type and degree of surgical intervention, the experience of the surgeon, habit, and the physical location of the procedure.  If there is any doubt, it may be better to err on the safe side and use drains in your case.  Capsulectomy creates a large raw surface that is more prone to creating fluid collections.  A drain will be more effective in addressing this.  In the end, speak with your surgeon so you can better understand his strategy.  Good luck!

Dr. Parham Ganchi - NJ Plastic Surgeon

Wayne Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 160 reviews

Drains V. Compression After Explant?

Following removal of a breast implant it is important to keep the cavity that the implant was in compressed in order to facilitate adhesion of the two surfaces to each other.I therefore recommend long term drainage 

Hilton Becker, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Using a drain when performing a capsulectomy and explantation

There is no right or wrong answer about using drains.  When performing a capsulectomy there can be some oozing and it needs to be removed using a drain.  A drain may help prevent a fluid collection. The drain also helps place a negative vacuum to the open space and helps it close down. 

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Drains after Breast Implant Removal

There is no right or wrong answer in this case, Removing the capsules may cause more oozing and that can build up in the space where the implant was. A drain may help prevent a fluid collection. However, some surgeons don't place a drain and if a fluid collection forms, they remove it with a needle or a small drain placed in the office.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Breast Implant Removal and Drains?

You will find that there is no science or data that  demonstrates that either compression dressings or the use of drains is  “better” after breast implant removal. These types of decisions are often surgeon dependent,  based on personal preference, training, experience etc.
 Personally, I find the use of drains helpful during  some cases involving removal of breast implants.  Work with your surgeon to determine the best location for drain placement ( to hide it as much as possible); the resulting scars are  usually quite small.
Good luck with your up coming procedure; hopefully you will be very pleased with the outcome.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,501 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.