Drains vs no drains?

So I've noticed half surgeons do drains and half don't. What's the difference and why do some do both.

Doctor Answers 5

To drain or not to drain

Traditionally, almost all breast reductions were done with drains.  In the last 20 or 30 years, the use of drains for reductions has decreased.  Where your surgeon falls probably depends on his/her age and experience.  I tend to use drains in the largest of breast reductions, especially when remove a lot of tissue from near the armpit.  The decision is made during surgery.  Your experience with a reduction can be just as good with or without drains.  Trust your surgeon to make the best choice for you.  Most women are very glad they had reductions.  I hope you will be one of them. 

Pensacola Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Scarless breast reduction

if I'm not mistaken you ask this question regarding breast reduction's. Our preferred method, although it's not for everyone, is the Scarless, or liposuction only procedure. as this is only liposuction with no incisions or undermining of skin drains are not used. 

Sherwood Baxt, MD
Paramus Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Breast reduction: drains vs no drains?

Thank you for the question and congratulations on your decision to proceed with breast reduction surgery; it is one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform.

The use of drains  for breast reduction surgery is surgeon  dependent (not “mandatory”). Drains are usually used to evacuate fluid (prevent fluid accumulation).

 Whether or not a plastic surgeon uses drains should not be a factor when it comes to plastic surgeon selection.  Key will be selection of a board-certified plastic surgeon who can demonstrate significant  experience in shaping the types of outcomes you will be pleased with. Best wishes with your upcoming surgery.

Drain or no drain? Tummy tuck? Breast?

I suspect you are talking about a tummy tuck

Your surgeon is probably going to quilt the tummy. This means sewing down the abdominal wall rather than just letting it stick down on its own. Quilting diminishes the risk of fluid collection so many surgeons no longer leave drains.

While I favor quilting as well, I do favor leaving a drain. If fluid were to accumulate it could lead to infection, so I think of a drain as an emergency relief valve. 

If your post is about breast surgery-- It is far less likely that breast lifts or reductions will trap fluid so many , myself included, do not leave drains. 

When in doubt your PS about his or her preference.

Best wishes.

Adam Tattelbaum, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Drains vs no drains

Drains are used to prevent a complication of seroma from occurring. The raw tissue surfaces created by the surgery will ooze fluid similar to a skin scrape until they seal. This fluid will accumulate in the space created by the surgical procedure. I find that without drains there is always some fluid accumulation particulary laterally in the breast. Often it is minimal and not a problem but in some it can be painful and needs to be drained with a needle in the office. I use drains selectively in my patients. With larger brest reductions I stil prefer to use them but in smaller reductions I typically don't.

Charles T. Slack, MD
Mckinney Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 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.