• Full mastectomy 9 days ago. Have 2 drains. How long do they stay ?

    Asked by janstar47 on Saturday, February 9, 2013

    Full mastectomy 9 days ago. Have 2 drains. How long do they stay ?

    I see my surgeon in 2 more days. Curious about how long you had yours in. Thank you so much.

    12 Answers from the Community

    12 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      Depends on how much drainage you still have. Most surgeons want them to stay in until the drainage is less than 20 cc / day. I had multiple surgeries and multiple drains. I think some came out after about 2 weeks but others were in 3-4 weeks.

      over 5 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      I had bilat and 2 drains...one on each side....PS took them out at one wee as I was developing a seroma (sp)....otherwise, they would have been in longer as they were still draining a little bit....

      over 5 years ago
    • Nancebeth's Avatar

      I had a bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction in February 2012. I had one drain on each side. Left drain was removed 6 days after surgery. Right drain was removed 2 weeks after surgery. I am right handed and so that side stayed a little more swollen and drained more fluid.

      over 5 years ago
    • JennyMiller's Avatar

      I had bilateral mastectomy and 3 drains. Two of them were taken out after a couple of weeks. The third one stayed for at least another week. I was so glad to be rid of them -- it was a relief!! Good Luck

      over 5 years ago
    • Julie99's Avatar

      I had a bilateral mastectomy with expanders & a very conservative ps. She wanted 2 consecutive days with under 20 cc/day for each drain. One was removed in a week, the other 3 were removed a week later but I had to PUSH for one of them which was right at 20 cc's.
      I listened to everything the ps said, taking it easy, not pushing myself, not lifting my arms above shoulder height, keeping my arms elevated at night. I think all of that helped. But I did need to take something the day they were removed. The tissue had started to attach to the tubes so it hurt a bit when they took the last 3 out but I was fine within a couple of hours.

      over 5 years ago
    • SusanK's Avatar

      I'm keeping my fingers crossed that yours will come out this week. I also had two and they were both taken out at my two week check-up, which was twelve days after the surgery. They were a nuisance but I have learned we were the lucky ones; some have four drains!

      over 5 years ago
    • mcowett's Avatar

      I only had a lumpectomy but they had to take 10 lymph nodes, so I had 1 drain. It felt like that thing was in forever. I think it was about 2 weeks. One thing for sure is that you don't want it to come out too early. If that happens the fluid that should have been draining is trapped and can cause some problems. Hang in there and be patient. Do you have a nifty was to support the bulbs so they don't get in your way?

      over 5 years ago
    • Topazcat's Avatar

      I had a double mastectomy and 2o lymph nodes removed from under my left arm so I had 3 drains in. One came out at 2 weeks, another at 3 weeks. Then I got a pasturella infection when a cat bit me (insult to injury - he was my cat), so the last drain was in for 4 weeks. It is a relief when they were all out. Hope you can get them out soon. It depends on how much you are still draining. Good luck!

      over 5 years ago
    • Jaimebrie's Avatar

      Hi janstar47,

      I had 3 drains and was supposed to have them removed or at least one of them after a week, but I had a slight infection so I wound up having them in for 3 weeks. Do you have a Jacki jacket, which is helpful because it has pockets for the drains, but also velcros open down the front and arms if you have an IV or picc line. The baseball jacket is my favorite one. Hopefully you will have your drains removed in 2 days when you see your surgeon. Continued good luck, be well, and stay strong.

      over 5 years ago
    • debco148's Avatar

      Usually the doctors will ask you to measure the fluid that drains into them each day. Once they are at acceptable levels, they'll remove them. You may be ready now for at least one of them if not much draining. Removing them is simple, doesn't hurt at all. I had one removed in first visit and one stayed an extra few days. Just depends on how much is still draining.

      over 5 years ago
    • jgoat01's Avatar

      I had a right mastectomy 10 days ago and have 2 drain tubes. Plus they took out 6-10 lympnodes. I was told when I have 25cc for two straight days they can come out. God bless and good luck.

      over 5 years ago
    • DaveWaz's Avatar

      Thank you for your question. I hope all is well!

      Your question reminded me of some experience content we have on the site. One of the pages is about experience with a double mastectomy:


      There are also some pages on experiences with breast reconstruction:


      One last thing, is I wanted to let other WhatNexters know about our Beginner's Guide to Cancer, which includes a guide on how women chose between a lumpectomy and mastectomy.


      Best of luck to all,

      almost 5 years ago

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