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Drain Care


Depending on the procedure, you may be sent home with a drain. The drain is stitched to your skin to prevent premature removal. The drain is attached at the end to a plastic bulb. It is best to clip or safety pin the bulb to your clothing to prevent excessive tension on the drain and, again, inadvertent removal. You will be taught prior to discharge how to empty the bulb and to reapply suction. You should empty the drain 2 to 3 times per day and keep a record of the output. In general, the drain is ready to be removed when the output is less than 30cc a day for two days in a row. Drain removal is performed in the office.

You should keep the drain site dry to prevent an infection. Generally, a clear plastic bandage is placed over the drain site (where it leaves the skin). You may shower with the clear bandage (it is water-proof). If the bandage comes off at any time, you may place gauze and tape over the drain site. When you shower, a) remove the tape and gauze covering the drain, b) shower (the drain and tubing can get wet), and c) then re-apply tape and gauze once dry. Be careful not to remove the drain when showering.