Drain breaking inside while pulling out - what are the chances?

What are the chances of a drain tube breaking inside of me while being pulled out? How can I contact the manufacture to as questions??

Doctor Answers 6

Drain breaking inside you? not likely.

Hello!
The chances of a drain breaking inside of you are exceedingly rare!  It does depend on the type and size of drain, and of course how it was placed by your surgeon. If it was inadvertently sutured to you, and then removal was attempted, it impossible with enough force the drain could break. But again  this scenario is very rare.
Good luck.


Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Drain breaking inside while pulling out - what are the chances?

Very low, but indeed possible. I have had it happen once during my fellowship, and once in 29 years of private practice. Both times, the drain remnant was successfully removed with a small procedure. I now always cut the ends of my drains at an angle, and BETWEEN perforations so that I know for sure I have removed the entire drain. The drain manufacturer will not be of help--you need to ask your plastic surgeon. If you are concerned that your surgeon is giving vague reassurances without telling you the truth, then your trust issues are larger than this simple question belies.

You should know that many, but perhaps not all, drains either have a radio-opaque line or are made from X-ray visible materials, just like the X-ray visible threads sewn into surgical sponges so they can be seen on X-ray if they are suspected of being inadvertently left inside the body after surgery. Drains, even perforated ones, are extremely durable, and equally unlikely to be torn during removal unless inadvertently sewn into place by internal sutures.

Really, this is a question that needs to be answered by your surgeon, since s/he will know what type of surgical drain was used, whether or not it is X-ray visible, and if so, then a simple X-ray can answer your concern definitively (if you still mistrust your surgeon's answer). But then, why would you believe what type of drain s/he tells you they use? Sorry for your concern and our inability to be definitive here online. Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 239 reviews

Drain breaking inside while pulling out - what are the chances?

Drain breakage is extremely rare. However, drains can be avoided with a No-Drain Tummy Tuck. See link below for examples. 

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

What are the chances of a drain breaking inside of me?

Thank you for your question.  Unless the drain was accidentally sutured or injured during its placement the likelihood of one breaking is extremely small.  Hope this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Drain breaking inside while pulling out - what are the chances?

The chances of a drain "breaking inside of you" is extremely small. Frankly, I do not think contacting the manufacturer with questions will help. Instead, communicate your concerns with your plastic surgeon who will always be your best resource when it comes to information/reassurance. Best wishes.

Drain breaking inside while pulling out - what are the chances?

I have never seen this happen.  Ask your surgeon to see a drain so you will have a better understanding.  I am sure you can google drains online and speak with a surgical supply representative.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 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.