Breast Lift Drains

Posted by administration on October 10, 2016

Breast_Lift_Drains.jpgFollowing a breast lift surgery, the patient may be discharged home with one or more drains coming from the incision site on the chest or under the arm. These drains are used after the procedure is finished in order to remove the buildup of fluids that might occur from any cavity left behind.  If these fluids are allowed to build up, then they can sometimes be the source of a hematoma/seroma, or could possibly be a source of infection.

A breast lift drain is simply a plastic tube with one end inside the incision and the other end leading to a plastic bulb that collects the excess fluid. These drains can stay in and help rid the body of the excess fluid buildup for anywhere from the first 24 hours up to a couple of weeks following surgery.

Detailed instructions on how to care for the breast lift drains will be sent home with the patient. Dr. Serota in Denver asks that the patient record all of the drain output in order to determine when they can safely be removed. The patient will be responsible for emptying the drains at specific time periods (both morning and evening) and recording the collected amounts of fluid.  Most of the time the period of monitoring your output of the drains is 12 hours at a time.  The morning and the evening amounts are added together to get a 24-hour total. 

Drains are normally removed after recording a 24-hour total with less than 40cc for any particular drain. To remove the fluid out of the drains, the bulbs detach and you empty them into a measured cup and record the drainage. When putting the bulbs back on the tubes, you will need to squeeze them a bit to create suction. This suction helps with the drainage process.   

It is not unusual to see clots or pieces of tissue inside the tubing of the drain.  If they seem to be obstructing the drain’s flow, roll the tubing between your fingers in an attempt to mobilize it.  Any kind of flushing into the tubing should never be done in attempt to clean it.  The fluid that accumulates in the drain should be pinkish brown in color.

Benefits of drains for breast lift surgery patients:

  • Less pain in the early post-operative period
  • Minimal distortion of the appearance of the breasts early after surgery
  • Minimal post-operative bruising and swelling
  • No need for tight pressure dressing which often adds to the pain
  • Decreased recovery time

If you would like more information about breast lift drains or would like to schedule a breast lift consultation, please contact Advanced Cosmetic Surgery Center at 303-367-9000 or today.


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