Surgical Drains After Plastic Surgery

Many surgeries include the placement of surgical drains. Why? Why do some procedures need drains and others don’t? Let’s look at what drains are designed to do. The whole concept of drains, and draining a surgical wound is confusing to many people and not just patients.

A surgical drain is a soft and flexible plastic tube that is connected to a plastic collection bulb. Drains are used to prevent fluid from accumulating at the surgery site while the wound or incision site is healing. These drains are usually in place for about 1 to 3 weeks after surgery, or until the drainage decreases to a small amount. You can get more information regarding post-surgical drain from

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Although there are different types of surgical drains, most of the drains used tend to be silastic tubes, placed at the time of surgery through the wound or through a separate site through the skin, with a perforated end inside the patient, allowing fluid to go into the drain. At the other, external end of the drain is a small silastic bulb that collects the fluid and is periodically emptied.

Your doctor will advise and recommend the most suitable type of anesthesia to be administered based on your condition. They include:

  • Do not drive if you are taking pain medication as it will make you feel drowsy
  • Do not drive until your drain has been removed, unless otherwise advised by your doctor/surgeon
  • Keep the drain collection tube anchored to your clothing to prevent it from being pulled out
  • Keep the drain in your pocket or a shoulder bag when you are moving around
  • Keep the drain site dressing clean and dry at all times

Hence, it is always recommended to follow the above steps to properly care for the surgical wound.