Will I have to have drains?

June 2015 I had a lift w/ silicone under the muscle implants. In a couple weeks I am having the lift revised and the implants taken out. She said I will probably need drains afterwards. This makes me really nervous. I've heard it really hurts when it's time to take them out and the thought of having them for awhile makes me very anxious anyway. Will this be completely necessary?

Doctor Answers 5

Drains are necessary

Drains are completely necessary.For explant surgery, it is almost always best to remove the capsule in its entirety.  This will allow the space to heal.  If you leave the capsule in place, it does not heal.  Fluid can accumulate in the space.  The situation that brings the patient to implant removal will have an affect on the decision.  This is a surgery which requires discussion with the plastic surgeon about the problem, the goals, and the technical concerns.  The body does not re-absorb the capsule.  Revision surgery requires drains because the fluid is going to be generated when you operate on the scar capsule.  If you provide a mechanism for the fluid to be removed (i.e. drains), the risks are lower.  If the fluid accumulates because there were no drains, it will most certainly cause problems in the future.

San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 136 reviews

Will I have to have drains?

Practices will vary when it comes to the use of drains. Currently, I do utilize drains for most patients undergoing breast implant removal surgery. Although patients to tend to "stress" over there use, they generally find them to be "benign". The use of local anesthesia may be helpful when it comes to increasing discomfort with drain removal. Best wishes for an outcome that you will be very pleased with.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,498 reviews


It is possible that you will needs drains after implant removal, it is always a game time decision. Do not worry about the drains, they are not typically painful to remove, usually only mild discomfort, not painful per say.

Drains Needed?

Drains are not always needed for explant surgery.  This is usually determined at the time of surgery.  Drains are not scary and are relatively easy to remove.  Try not to stress over this.  Best wishes for a successful surgery.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

#Explant #BreastImplantRemoval - Will I have to have drains?

I would typically use drains for a procedure such as this.  They are not that scary and they usually come out after a few days.  They are mildly uncomfortable, if at all, and not painful when removed (usually).  Particularly for a procedure such as this - with open areas, implants being removed, etc I think it is important to have drains to help remove any accumulating fluid, and to help the tissues contract down.  I would therefore generally agree with your plastic surgeon.  I hope that this helps and good luck.  Dr. Alan Engler, Member of #RealSelf500

Alan M. Engler, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 125 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.