Many patients who see me in consultation for a breast reduction have already conducted a fair amount of research on the internet about this procedure. One issue that they often have questions and concerns about is the need for and the usage of drains for this surgery. Some have read commentaries by previous breast reduction patients who emphasized the “significant” discomfort associated with these drains. Unfortunately, much of the information that people read is either incorrect, not accurate or doesn’t proportionately represent reality.
For many years, I customarily placed drains in all my breast reduction patients, the purpose of which was to help minimize the risk for accumulation of fluid (seroma) and blood (hematoma). This was the norm for the majority of plastic surgeons. The drains, which are “tubes” that exit through the lower skin incision and serve to drain fluid deep to the skin, were more of a nuisance rather than a source of significant discomfort or severe pain. Regardless, most patients were quite happy to have them removed.
Over the last several years, I have made their usage a rare exception and when they are placed, the decision is made during surgery based on a few factors. Fortunately, I have seen no increased incidence of these two complications with this approach – and my patients are happier that they have to deal with one less issue.
For more information on breast reduction surgery or for any other plastic surgery procedure that I perform, or to schedule a consultation with me, please call my office at 480-451-3000.
Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona