Can I Remove my Drainage Tube at Home?

Doctor Answers 9

Drain removal at home

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It certainly can be done if you have discussed with your doctor. The main potentially issue is re-accumulation of fluid. This will need to be drained with needle and syringe. Make sure your doctor is available if this should happen.

Albuquerque Plastic Surgeon

Drain Removal after Tummy Tuck?

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No, I would suggest that you have the drains removed by your plastic surgeon or his representative.

Best wishes.

Removing Drainage Tube at Home after Mini Tummy Tuck

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    I would not recommend this, because a physical exam prior to removal ensures that an additional problem does not exist.  Sometimes, a person can have fluid and low drain output because a drain is clogged.  That is just one of many examples.  Please get this removed at the doctor's office.

Drain to be removed at home?

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While it is certainly possible to remove your own drain, it is best to ask your doctor what he prefers. I prefer to take them out myself so that there is not problem.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Can I remove my drainage tube myself?

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When drains are placed by a surgeon, in most instances, they should also be removed by either a surgeon or a clinical professional such as an RN or MA. You should never remove any tubes without explicit instructions from your surgeon's office.  We recommend contacting your surgeon’s office, if you are experiencing anything unusual that is not in your normal post op instructions.

Drainage removal

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Your drainage should be removed at the doctors office.  That is also a time the doctor can assess your condition and how he can improve the scarring etc..

Sanjay Lalla, MD, FACS
West Orange Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Can I Remove My Tummy Tuck Drain at Home?

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Well, yes you could, but I don't know why you would want to. When I used drains (not needed any more due to quilting sutures), I always numbed up the drain site.  Otherwise it can hurt quite a bit having the drain pulled. Patients who knew someone or had seen someone else have that done without anesthetic did not like it at all. Ouch!

Also, drains leave an opening that heals much better if it is closed. Until it seals, more drainage can come out on your clothing. So I would put a few sutures or a staple to make that opening heal as a narrow scar. That requires anesthetic for a comfortable experience.

Also,  the decision to take out a drain, and when to take it out, is a clinical decision that your plastic surgeon makes. Sometimes, when there are two drains, only one will be removed and the other kept a while longer to ensure drainage and decrease the risk of seroma.  So for all these reasons, it is best if drains are removed at your doctor's office.

Robert M. Lowen, MD
Mountain View Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Can I Remove my Drainage Tube at Home

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I do occasionally have patients remove their own drains at home. They will call with drainage info to choose appropriate timing. Depending upon the type of drain, there is one suture to snip, and the drain comes out quite easily. I usually advice that the patient have a family member or friend do this (?nurse if available). I don't offer this unless I am asked, and many patients who do ask wind up coming in to the office for removal. 

All the best.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Removing one's own drainage tube

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Of course not! Would you pull your own tooth? Sometimes drain removal can be painful and it does require expertise. You have presumably paid a surgeon for a procedure and that includes aftercare. Why would you even consider doing so yourself? If you live far from your surgeon, then planning for the followup should have been factored into your decision making process.

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.