Are Drains Necessary with Capsulorraphy?

If I am having repair of breast implant pockets during a revision, are drains needed/necessary? I imagine there will be fluid post-surgery, but also wonder about bacteria and capsular contracture. And another question - do you see increased capsular contraction with augment revisions? Had my implants for 10 years with no probs. wondering if my risk increases on the second go around?

Doctor Answers 8

Drains Needed With Capsulorrhaphy (Revisionary Breast) Surgery?

The use of drains during revisionary breast surgery will vary from one practice to another. In my practice, for capsulorraphy surgery only, drains are rarely used. On the other hand, for capsulectomy surgery or revisionary breast lifting/augmentation surgery, I will use drains frequently.

 Revisionary breast surgery is not necessarily associated with an increased  risk of breast implant encapsulation.

 Best wishes with the planned procedures.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,503 reviews

Questions about a capsulorraphy

If just a capsulorrpahy is performed then drains are rarely necessary.  There should not be an increased risk of capsular contracture with this procedure. 

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

Capsule surgery and drains

If a capsulorrhaphy is performed, often times it is not necessary to place drains. It really is a case by case decision depending upon the extent of dissection and concern for fluid accumulation.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Are Drains Necessary with Capsulorraphy?

I personally have not found a need for drains with breast capsule modification, or new implants, but you may well get a different answer from other surgeons. The risk of subsequent capsular contracture in my experience is not higher than it was for the first surgery.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Drains with breast revision

I never use drain when I leave an implant in the pocket.  Some PS leave a drain every time. You have to trust your PS and their philosophy. The capsular contracture rate should be the same or slightly less with a revision as long as the scar length is suitable for the implant size your are putting in.

Robert Kearney, MD, FACS
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Drains Probably Not Necessary

Whether on not you need drains, depends upon how extensive your surgery is.  Sometimes revisions require a combination of releasing the capsule and also removing a portion of the capsule. Basically, let your surgeon decide at surgery what he or she thinks best. Do not lock your surgeon into never using drains. They are not that bad to have. Normally I do not use them for a simple capsular release, but as I stated earlier, you cannot always anticipate what you might need to do to achieve the best result.

William H. Huffaker, MD
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Drains Are Necessary

Thank you for your question. Drain's are necessary with capsular work. There were definitely the surgery after the fact. If drains are not use the fluid will collect and eventually become infected and cause more problems including capsular contracture. There is not necessarily an increase risk associted with a second surgery and capsule contracture. I hope this answers your questions. Best wishes.

Dr. ES

Drains not necessary for revision breast augmentation.


This is usually not a complicated procedure.  And I don't think that you are at increased risk of capsular contracture.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 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.