Surgical Drains after Breast Augmentation Surgery

When researching any type of surgery, you’ll likely find information about surgical drains. While they’re usually not a requirement after getting breast implants, some doctors may make use of them depending on your physical situation post-op. Below are some commonly asked questions about surgical drains in relation to breast augmentation.

Why Would I Need Surgical Drains?

Most surgeons think surgical drains aren’t necessary after a typical breast augmentation. However, if there is a potential for fluid buildup, they may use them. One case where they may be needed is to prevent rotation of a textured implant in the body. The limitation of fluid will provide the best environment for the implant to attach to the surrounding capsule. Some procedures, such as revision surgery or mastopexy, may require the use of drains as well.

What Do Surgical Drains Look Like?

Surgical drains used after breast augmentation surgery are simply a plastic tube inside the incision with the other end leading out of the body to a clear plastic bulb that collects drainage from inside.

How Do Surgical Drains Work?

Your surgeon will ask that you measure the amount of fluid that drains from each breast. You’ll need to keep track of this information until you see your surgeon for a post-op appointment. When your surgeon thinks the drainage has slowed down enough, they’ll remove the drains.

Below is a photo that a site visitor submitted. She is shown here with drains.

Photos below courtesy of Dr. Steven Teitelbaum

Updated August 2016

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