Do you HAVE to have drains on a breast lift (lollipop scar) with no implants?

I would like to have my breasts lifted (no implants, I have plenty of tissue), but I have no one at home to help me afterwards. I have no one to take care of, I am by myself. I want to know if you HAVE to have drains with a breast lift. I am trying to minimize my recovery time.

Doctor Answers 9

Breast lift drains

Thanks for you inquiry. In truth it depends on how much your breast has to be changed (position, shape, contour) which determines if you need a drain.  Not all breast lifts need a drain, but some would definitely benefit from one. I would argue that a drain for 2-5 days could reduce your recovery time if your surgery caused a lot of swelling, some bleeding, etc. Drains are simple to use and most office can train you to take care of them in a few minutes. I suggest you pick the surgeon who you thinks will give you the best long term result and not just satisfy a short term goal of avoiding a drain.  Good luck.

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 197 reviews

Drains after breast lift surgery

In my practice, most patients require drains after breast lift surgery and stay one night in hospital with the drain removed before discharge..  It is possible however to go home with the drais and retuen for their removal the next day if you really didn't want to stay in hospital. The key to successfully managing well at home after surgery lies in the preparation.  Make sure the house is clean and tidy and the freezer full of meals and there is no reason why you can't manage on your own after surgery.  You will need to take things easy for the first week and then you will be able to ease back into your regular routine.

Robert Drielsma, MBBS, BSc, FRACS
Sydney Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Drains after breast lift

Thanks for your question! Every surgeon is different, but for isolated breast lifts I do not think drains are necessary. Most surgeons would likely agree. Brest of luck!

Bradley A. Hubbard, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

Drains after breast lift

Thanks for your inquiry.  Drains are not necessarily needed after a breast lift.  I do not routinely insert them.  You could check with your own plastic surgeon about their protocol.

William Andrade, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 63 reviews


I would say that most surgeons do not routinely use drains for a lollipop pattern breast lift. That can vary on a case by case basis, and sometimes the actual decision is only made during the procedure itself. 

Managing a drain at home is quite simple, and can be done by the patient herself, and they don not prolong the recovery time. 

Best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Do you HAVE to have drains on a breast lift (lollipop scar) with no implants?

I never use drains in any kind of reduction or mastopexy surgery. The use of drains here in my opinion is largely  traditional; generations of surgeons were trained to use them and it becomes automatic. And because it is traditional,  doctors have the idea that it is a mistake not to use them.

 I have personally  never seen a complication induced in a reduction or mastopexy that cold have been prevented with drains.

Val Lambros, MD, FACS
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

To Drain or not to Drain, that is the Question.

Each surgeon will make the decision at the time of surgery. Nobody has to have drains it can help decrease the time it takes to recover from a procedure by removing most of the postoperative bleeding that occurs in nearly all patients after this type of surgery.

I generally leave a drain on this type of surgery however I have removed the drain on essentially all of my patients on the second post op day.

Walter D. Gracia, MD
Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Drains after a breast lift

Drains are frequently used after certain surgeries to minimize fluid collections in surgical spaces. For example, almost all surgeons place 1 or 2 drains after a facelift. Many (most) surgeons place drains in an abdominoplasty.  In my experience, most surgeons do not place drains in a breast lift in most cases; however, this decision is up to your surgeon's personal practices. 

Mark A. Deuber, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Drains post breast lifts

HI Ms. Texasbelle,
 I typically do not place drains after a breast lift unless there is an unusual amount of bleeding, which is very rare.
If your plastic surgeon feels that drains are necessary, they are not too difficult to manage at all.
Just discuss this issue with him/her.
Dr. Christine Rodgers

Christine Rodgers, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 90 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.