Could Surgical Drains Be A Thing Of The Past

By: Courtney Floyd

Blogs
May 17, 2016

It is truly incredible to reflect back to just twenty years ago and realize how far medicine has come! Every day new research is beginning in the hopes of developing better care for patients. Just think what the next twenty years could bring!

Last month, a study was released in the Journal of the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery titled “No-Drain DIEP Flap Donor-Site Closure Using Barbed Progressive Tension Sutures.” The goal of this study was to compare patient outcomes following DIEP flap breast reconstruction. The focus was on the abdominal donor-site closure techniques and how they compared. The three closure types were used--abdominal drains, progressive tension sutures plus abdominal drains, and barbed progressive tension sutures without drains.

There were 75 patients followed in this study split into three equal groups among the different abdominal closure types. Each of the groups had a similar distribution of patient characteristics (BMI, smoking status, age, etc.).

The results of the study are pretty exciting for the future of breast reconstruction surgery! There was statistically no significant difference in complications rates between the three groups.

What does this mean? No drain DIEP flap donor site closure using barbed progressive tension sutures is a safe and effective alternative to traditional abdominal closure using surgical drains.

This study could be the beginning of a whole new patient experience post breast reconstruction surgery. I mean, let’s face it, if we could eliminate the need for those pesky drains, why wouldn’t we?!?! More studies will most definitely begin because of this report and hopefully soon this technique (or maybe even something better) will be adopted as the standard practice.

Read more about the study at http://bit.ly/1XiGgpd

could surgical drains be thing of past

Learn More About DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction

10 Comments

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  • Patrica

    Let’s hope this pans out. Thanks for the news.

    Reply
  • PRMA Plastic Surgery

    Couldn’t agree more Pat! Hope you have a wonderful day!

    Reply
  • Elsa

    I had the tram flap procedure for my reconstruction 16 years ago. I wander if anyone have experienced soreness around the reconstruction area. Also my stomach has grown bigger as my waist has. I know that is because of my one ab muscle. I would like to get rid of my big mid-section.

    Reply
  • PRMA Plastic Surgery

    Hello Elsa! The soreness you are experiencing around your breast area could be scar tissue, but you should always follow up with your physician to get everything checked out. I am sorry to hear about your concerns around your mid-section. We would be more than happy to evaluate your concerns and provide you with our recommendations. You are welcome to call our office at 800-692-5565 or you can fill out our virtual consultation form at http://prma-enhance.com/patient-forms/virtual-consultation Hope to hear from you soon!

    Reply
  • Pam

    I had a mastectomy 2 weeks ago - no reconstructive surgery involved- my surgeon didn’t use any drains - my problem is the collection of fluid around wound is now very uncomfortable- think I shall have to contact my cancer nurse tomorrow

    Reply
  • PRMA Plastic Surgery

    Yes Pam! I would recommend you follow up with your surgeon as soon as possible.

    Reply
  • Pattie

    I had a bilateral mastectomy in August of last year. Expanders were put in at the time of surgery. I had four drains for one month. The drains were the worst part of recovery. I hope they find an alternative or do away with them. Not only were they uncomfortable but they were also emotionally a constant reminder. I couldn’t physically or mentally begin to heal while I was attached to the drains.

    Reply
  • PRMA Plastic Surgery

    Couldn’t agree more Patti that surgical drains are not fun! Hoping they find ways to do away with them or find an alternative some day too!

    Reply
  • Denise

    I had reconstructive surgery a yr & a half ago. I had the latissimus (?) flap from my back. The breast recovery went well. But I had 3 drains in my back for 2 & a half months. A seroma formed so I had surgery to clean that out & just had 1 drain. All in all I had drains in my back for 4 months! Those drains were a nuisance, to say the least, emptying & measuring them 3 times a day for 4 months! Weekly visits to the doctor hoping she’d remove a drain or two got old fast. The whole breast cancer thing, from beginning to now, the drains were the worst of it!

    Reply
  • PRMA Plastic Surgery

    Goodness Denise! I am so sorry to hear you had to go through all of that, BUT so glad to hear those nasty drains are behind you! You are not the first person to say the drains are the worst part!

    Reply
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