Skip to main content

Use of Drain

Any surgery that is done on the body will produce fluid that can build up in the surgical area. Your body will eventually resorb that fluid, but many surgeons will insert a drain into the surgical area to help get rid of most of the fluid that builds up under the skin after surgery.

The fluid can potentially become infected, so many surgeons want to remove that fluid. However, not all surgeons will use a drain. The drains are typically removed within a day or two after surgery.

The length of time a drain will be inserted depends on how much fluid is draining out of the surgical area and the preference of the surgeon.

It is important that patients know how to care for their drain if they are sent home with it. If the surgeon does not provide instructions for how to care for the drain, it is reasonable for a patient to ask for instructions.

Patients should also be aware that the surgical area will swell after the drain is removed, and that is a normal consequence of the surgery.