Concerning Pathology Results & Drains
Your pathology results will be known approximately five days after surgery. Your Breast Surgeon will review these results with you.
Suction drains are necessary to prevent fluid from building up around or under your incision site, and to decrease the risk of complications. You may have one to three drains near each incision site attached with a stitch. These drains will be emptied by your Nurse when they become about half full. The fluid in the drains will be a deep red color at first, which will then slowly become more "serous" or a clear light yellow as the days pass on. The amount of drainage will also decrease with each passing day.
The drain will be removed by your Surgeon when the amount of drainage is less than approximately 20-30 milliliters in a 24-hour period, and the fluid is clear light yellow. This usually takes anywhere from 7 to 14 days. Do not worry - drain removal does not hurt! The small stitch is used to hold the drain in place is cut, and the drain tube is gently removed. A dressing will be placed over the top, and can be removed the next day before your shower. The small hole in the skin through which the drain exited the body will close itself up in 24 hours.
Breast drains are typically removed before you go home following a flap, but most patients go home with abdominal or thigh drains. There is a chance that you could also be going home with breast drains if you have had implants placed or if your body is making a large amount of wound fluid that is bloody in color.
Drain Care At Home
Your Nurse will teach you how to care for and empty your drains prior to going home (see Appendix B). You will also be provided with dressings and a small specimen container for measuring your drainage output, in milliliters (mL) or cc's. Please record your drainage amounts on the drain log (Appendix B: JP drain log.)
Take this to your Surgeon so they can assess your drain output.