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All TopicsForum: Surgery - Before, During, and After → Topic: Drain Pain! Are my drains supposed to hurt this much?

Topic: Drain Pain! Are my drains supposed to hurt this much?

Forum: Surgery - Before, During, and After — Surgical options and helpful tips for recovery and side effects.

Posted on: Oct 17, 2009 05:10PM, edited Jul 27, 2011 01:39PM by kdavis1163

kdavis1163 wrote:

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Posts 1 - 16 (16 total)

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Oct 17, 2009 06:56PM abbadoodles wrote:

Removal of the drains is not, usually, painful in the least.  I don't know what your circumstances are.  If you have complications, I really don't know what to say.

Tina

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Oct 17, 2009 07:02PM cagio1 wrote:

Getting the drain out was easy.  Just make sure the nurse cuts the stiches first (mine forgot one before she pulled)  I had discomfort with the drain and when I had pain it was because it got clogged with material.  You have to milk the drain to get the material into the bulb if it is clogged.  Hope this helps.

Dx 6/12/2009, IDC, <1cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 2/27 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Oct 17, 2009 07:35PM, edited Jul 27, 2011 01:38PM by kdavis1163

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Dx 9/17/2009, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 1, ER+/PR-
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Oct 17, 2009 09:06PM nene2059 wrote:

I had no pain from the drains that were just on the side but the higher ones ( that usually are the last to come out) and the tube is under the breast ( I had immed expander recon) must have been sitting on a nerve because if i moved a certain way or bent forward OUCH.  I did not get much drainage after a few days either and my PS said the solid stuff is fat and some blood clots that take the shape of the tube.  It was sore at the site where the drains were inserted if I accidently pulled on the tubing or touched that area but nothing that I think was just more than the fact that the area was cut and stitched. It might be a good thing if you are not having a great deal of drainage because that may mean that your body is absorbing it naturally.  In any case page your doctor to alleviate any fears or to get started on a treatment you may need.  This is their job and whoever is on call will know the drill.  All of this is traumatic and scary so do what you need to do to alleviate fears.  Best of luck and best wishes for a quick recovery.  Oops I almost forgot to say that it did not hurt to have the drains removed and the ones that were sitting on a nerve just felt weird coming out but it is a very quick feeling and then you feel FREE:) 

I can be changed by what happens to me but I refuse to be reduced by it-Maya Angelou

Dx 1/28/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 0/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 17, 2009 09:28PM barbergirl wrote:

if you use a alchole swap to drain your tubes, its really easy

Patsy Campbell

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Oct 17, 2009 09:36PM, edited Oct 17, 2009 09:37PM by Mantra

Someone on this board gave me a tip for a painfree tube removal. She said to make sure they open the drain so there is no suction. It worked great for me and hopefully it will for you too.

Is there anyone who can look at your drain for you? I was fortunate to have homecare plus my DH is not the least bit sqeamish so he took care of them as well. Do you happen to have a neighbour who is a nurse or in the medical field? I will tell you that I was completely freaked out by my drains and imagined all sorts of horrible stuff going on and had a few anxiety attacks over them. But when the nurse or DH looked at them they said they were fine. We even had home care come one night after midnight. I was soaking through my bandage and DH called homecare and asked them what to use to clean and change the bandage and they said they prefer to do it themselves and showed up 10 minutes later. 

Dx 7/10/2009, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-
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Oct 17, 2009 09:48PM KEW wrote:

Hi Karen--The MOST painful, physcial, part of my BLM were the drains on my left side, it felt like burning steel thrusting into my arm pit if I moved the wrong way--I would actually shriek--my pain meds didn't even help.  I kept thinking I was bleeding a little and then the cami would pull on the dried blood, but it was simply the nerves around the drain.  I had no pain at all when PS removed them, in fact I said, "OK, tell me when you ready to start," and he said, "I'm done."  That part was easy.

After a day or two my tubing seemed to be collecting junk, but I was still able to strip the tubing and it worked fine.  Once in awhile while striping the tubes they would collapse and it took a few minute for them to become round again, this always freaked me out, but it worked out in the end, had surgery on a Monday and the tubes were out the following Monday.

What was really hard for me was pulling the Qpump wires out.  It needed to be done on Friday and my PS said one of my friends could do it.  The wires were really long up into my chest and the first two came out OK, but the second two must have hit something and I broke out into a cold sweat, the room began to spin, my ears were ringing, and I nearly passed out.  I'm not squeamish, so that was not it, the wire must have hit something on the way out.  I would not remove the Qpump wires at home, even if it means going to the PS for the wires and then again a few days later for the drains.

KarenW 

Age DX: 48. Dx Oct 2008, IDC, 2.6cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 0/10 nodes,100%ER+/Pr+, HER2-, Oncotype Score 15. BLM with reconstruction Nov 2008.

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Oct 17, 2009 10:11PM, edited Jul 27, 2011 01:38PM by kdavis1163

This Post was deleted by kdavis1163.
Dx 9/17/2009, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 1, ER+/PR-
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Oct 18, 2009 12:39AM, edited Oct 18, 2009 02:42AM by celia088

kdavis1163, i also had a right mastectomy and i had a lot of pain at the insertion site of the drain.  It hurt really bad from the movement of the tube when my hubby was milking the drains.  I had to tape some of the drain tube to my skin to keep it from moving around in the insertion hole because it was so painful.  It was a burning pain like you described.  I went in to see the doctor and he told me he believed i had an infection at the drain site, which couldn't be detected--no pus, no fever, no redness, but plenty of pain.  I took antibiotics and in a few days the pain was reduced.  I would call your doctor and let him/her know and ask if it could be infected.  The doctor can call in an rx for you so you can get started right away.

When that drain was removed, i had already taken Tylenol, and the surgeon just yanked it out like the way people yank off a bandaid fast when it is stuck to hairs.  I felt a sting for about a minute.  Later on when i had implant surgery, i had another drain (which was not as painful as the first one) and the intern took my drain out very very slowly with me looking the other way, and i never even felt it at all.  I definitely prefer the slow method.  The removal really wasn't bad done fast or slow, and i was totally glad to be rid of it.  Hope this helps.

"May your heart always be joyful, May your song always be sung, May you stay forever young"........Bob Dylan

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Oct 18, 2009 07:34AM abbadoodles wrote:

One of my drains from MS free TRAM gave out very little fluid but when it was pulled there was a massive gushing immediately.  Seems something had been either clogging it at the business end or it was somehow being crushed with either pressure from something internal or too sharp a bend in the tubing inside. 

Either way, the drainage continued for about a day, then stopped.  Luckily, no seroma developed.

The only "pain" I had from several major surgeries was when and if there was any tugging on the tubing where it exited from my body, at the stitches.  That burned and I was very careful not to tug accidentally!

Tina

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Oct 18, 2009 03:47PM KEW wrote:

Hi--Just for information Q pumps are inserted during the mx, two thin wires go under each breast up towards the collar bone,  the pumps stay in place for 4-5 days and constantly bath the chest wall in bivivocaine (sp?).  I was in no pain at all after the mx except for the left drain site which was out of the reach of the Q pumps.  I cut my pain meds in half the first day home, and I stopped taking pain meds during the day three days after the mx, and I know it was because of the Q pumps.  I still took pain meds at night because they helped me sleep.  I think the Q pumps were amazing.  The only downside, besides taking them out was that in addition to the two drains, I had two bags of the medicine to deal with, so 4 bags total.  That was kind of a drag.

I hope your site is OK.

KarenW 

Age DX: 48. Dx Oct 2008, IDC, 2.6cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 0/10 nodes,100%ER+/Pr+, HER2-, Oncotype Score 15. BLM with reconstruction Nov 2008.

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Oct 18, 2009 07:38PM Laurie09 wrote:

My drains hurt a lot.  It was the worst part of the surgery for me.  FWIW, the nurse made a little stent bandage with a gauze pad and paper tape to hold the drain up from pulling on the site and it did help some with the pain.

I agree that drain removal didn't hurt at all. 

Laurie

Dx 2/20/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 2, 7/12 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-Chemotherapy 03/12/2009 Adriamycin, Cytoxan, TaxolSurgery 08/28/2009 Mastectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal (Right); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement, Breast implants (permanent), Nipple reconstruction (Right)Radiation Therapy 10/05/2009 ExternalHormonal Therapy 11/05/2009 Tamoxifen
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Oct 18, 2009 08:07PM PatMom wrote:

The stitches that held the drains in place hurt me.  The pain got worse as time went on, until I was left with one drain, and couldn't take a breath without a stab of pain, at which point I informed my PS that he had a choice of removing the last drain immediately in his office, or I would be removing it myself as soon as I got home because I couldn't go another hour with it in.  He wanted to wait over the weekend to get the amount of drainage lower, but he removed it, and the pain subsided as soon as he cut the stitch holding it in place.  Removing the drain didn't hurt at all, although there was an odd sensation as it came out.  I was just so relieved to get it out that it wouldn't have mattered if it did hurt... at least I knew if there was any pain assciated with the removal that would end quickly and not go on 24/7.

One thing that did help a little while the drains were still in was keeping fabric between the tubing and  my skin so that the rubbing didn't cause the stitches to pull so much.

I hope that you can get an earlier appointment time tomorrow, and that you get relief soon.

Until the time when someone comes up with a definitive "cure", we each have to cobble together what we believe will be the most effective treatment that we can live with, not merely survive.

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Oct 30, 2009 04:03PM, edited Oct 30, 2009 04:43PM by ameron

I cannot believe all the posts here saying that drain removal did not hurt.  I had one of three removed yesterday and it was horribly painful.   Didn't last that long, but was very painful and queezy for the 30 seconds or so that it did last.  I have two more to go and am dreading it.  Surgeon said to take a pain pill before I come in next time.  I'm wondering why mine hurt so badly and so many others did not.  It was exactly one week after surgery that the first drain was removed.

 Also, I read in one of the posts that you should NOT be to ACTIVE with the drains in, as this makes them drain more.  My surgeon didn't mention anything to me about this.  I would think it wouldd be good to be active and encourage the increased drainage?  Unless of course activity causes it to make more fluid?  What have your drs. recommended to you re: activity while drains in?  Thanks all. 

Dx 5/7/2009, IBC, Stage IIIc, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Nov 2, 2009 12:58PM Racquel wrote:

My drains were worse than the pain of the incisions.  The right one was better after a day or so but the left one was a killer.  I lucked out though because I had my DF home with me from day one and he was there for a week straight with me.  He stripped my drains each morning when I got up, periodically throughout the day and then at night before bed.  The left one hurt like hell when he'd strip it ... burned no matter how gentle he was.  I found the pain was reduced if he got the clogs out.  He'd pinch the very top where it was inserted and then use his other hand to pull down all while I held my breath waiting for him to accidentally let go at the top and pull it right out! Surprised  Thankfully that didn't happen.  He'd use an alcohol pad on the stripping hand so it moved smoothly.  Then he'd let go at the top and it'd suck out ... burned horribly but the constant pain/ache was reduced then.  Unfortunately, it was the same when my ps removed them.  Right one slid right out.  Left one ... well, I yelped, cried and hit the table with my feet.  I'm not looking forward to having them again when I have the exchange done but hopefully they'll be better than my left one was in June.
Dx 5/13/2009, IDC, 0/8 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Nov 9, 2009 06:58PM kreativek wrote:

The area around my drains were painful also - the most painful area I had.  However, they did not hurt at all to have removed.  Some women do have pain with the removal though.  I suggest taking a pain pill about 1 hour before your appointment - just in case!

PBM, May 21, 2008 for ADH/Family History