Are Wound Drains Necessary?

Patients are often curious about wound drains after surgery. Some surgeons use them for many of their operations, some hardly at all, so it leads to confusion about whether they are really needed.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of drains?

Wound Drain Advantages

Short term: drains can remove excess fluid or blood from the wound which may reduce the risk of developing a collection that needs to be evacuated either surgically or as a minor clinic procedure.

Wound Drain Disadvantages

Disadvantages include: Drains can be sore, inconvenient, and may increase the risk of infection. They do not necessarily prevent a serum or fluid collection. They can clot off or a collection can occur after the drain is removed.

Every surgeon has to weigh the pros and cons and decide whether a drain will be helpful for their patient. In my practice, I rarely use drains for breast augmentation, breast lift or reduction (but for larger breast reconstruction cases I still find them helpful). Similarly, for tummy tuck surgery and other body contouring operations, I don’t use them routinely.

It is always a good idea to talk to your surgeon to understand the risks and benefits of your surgery, including details of the operation that could affect your recovery.

Dr. Andrade specializes in body contouring procedures and has a 5-star rating on RateMDs and If you have any questions or would like to book a free, detailed consultation with Dr. Andrade, please feel free to contact the office.