Surgical Drains

Posted by administration on August 20, 2017

Surgical_Drains.jpgDepending on the type of cosmetic surgery you have, you may have a surgical drain in place after the procedure. Surgical drains are placed to keep fluid or infectious material from building up at your incision site. The surgical drain does exactly what it sounds like: it drains fluid away and out of the body, just like a plumbing drain. Having a drain may sound scary or intimidating, but the device can speed healing and help prevent complications.

There are many types of drains, ranging from chest tubes that keep fluid from accumulating around the heart after open heart surgery, to small bulb type drains that apply gentle suction. The type of drain that is used depends on the type of surgery, the preference of the surgeon and the location of the surgery. There may be one drain, or there may be several, depending on the nature of the potential problem.

For the most part, drains are not painful to have in place, but they can cause discomfort depending on the size and location. Typically, any pain is mild, but the larger the drain, the greater the likelihood that it may cause pain.

Caring for Surgical Drains at Home

If you are sent home from Advanced Cosmetic Surgery Center with surgical drains, you will be given specific instructions on how to properly care for them. Caring for a drain is very much like practicing proper wound care. Wash your hands before touching your incision or the drain. Cleanse the area around the drain gently with a mild soap and rinse well. Avoid bathing in a tub when you have an incision that has not completely healed or a drain in place unless you are instructed to do so by Dr. Serota.

Surgical Drain Removal

Drains are designed to be removed without the need for further surgery or additional procedures. They may leave the body through the surgical incision or a small incision may be made specifically for the drain itself. The drain may have sutures holding it in place to prevent it from being accidentally dislodged. When there is no longer drainage coming out, or the drain is no longer needed, it can be removed by cutting the sutures and gently pulling the drain out. This procedure is to be performed in our office by Dr. Serota or a nurse.

For more information about surgical drains, contact our office at 303-367-9000 or


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