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Drain Removal-- is it very painful???

bluewillow Member Posts: 28
Ok ladies, lay it on me. I am supposed to have my drain removed Monday morning and I need to know how painful the removal process is (so I can dread it and not sleep tomorrow night! ). And is the drain site numbed before removal? I plan to take my Percocet prior to the event! Thanks for your help!!!


  • aussiejan
    aussiejan Member Posts: 1
    edited July 2007
    No, it is not painful. Like you, I dreaded the thought of it coming out because I had had a drain for gall bladder surgery and that hurt.
    This, by contrast, was a dream. I did take a mild paracetamol prior but feel, in retrospect, that it probably not have been required.
    I am not aware of the brand name drug you mention but it sounds as though it could be insurance for you.
    Good luck.
  • msmimi
    msmimi Member Posts: 1
    edited July 2007

    Relax. It hurts for only a few seconds. I didn't have any topical anesthetic. Look at it this way, you'll be free of those nasty drains. Good luck.

  • wallycat
    wallycat Member Posts: 1,239
    edited July 2007
    It feels like the teeeniest, tiniest pinch...not even.
    Make sure the doc releases the bulb vacuum (I reminded mine and he said he knew )...3 of the 4 I didn't feel. One was a tiny pinch. I haven't been on pain meds since the mastectomy barring 2 ibuprofin for a sinus headache.
    We are all different, but I consider myself a wussy girl.
  • Member Posts: 1,435
    edited July 2007

    I took a Tylenol before hand, the nurse told me to count to 3 and take a breath in and that's when she pulled it out. I honestly didn't feel a thing with either drain.

  • melanie48
    melanie48 Member Posts: 3
    edited July 2007

    no you will do great!!! painless

  • MargaretB
    MargaretB Member Posts: 771
    edited July 2007

    No, it's not painful - I thought it felt weird but it didn't hurt.

  • Helenhsm
    Helenhsm Member Posts: 5
    edited July 2007
    Mary Jo, you know I never saw my drain, I was wrapped up in an ace bandage for a couple days, I went in and he unwrapped me - I didn't feel a thing, except relief to be out of the bandage.

    Don't worry!
  • Chattypatti
    Chattypatti Member Posts: 17
    edited July 2007

    All I felt was relief to have it out!! I was surprised when the doctor told me he was done...never felt a thing! I didn't take anything before or after.

  • momto4girls
    momto4girls Member Posts: 1
    edited July 2007

    Percocet is good insurance.

  • Chelee
    Chelee Member Posts: 36
    edited July 2007
    When first DX and I had my first MRM I had a drain in for almost a month! (I'm a juicy Lucy I suppose) lol I was WORRIED about the drain removal since it was in so long. My surgeon pulled it out and I DIDN'T even know it until he told me. I did NOT feel one thing? Other then cutting a stitch that held the tube in...which again was pain.

    Then I recently had a profolactic mastectomy and what ended up having that drain in a total of SIXTY TWO DAYS!! Ridiculous. I hold the worlds record on this one. But I just KNEW this one was going to hurt being in THAT long. Two freaking months! Again...same thing...didn't even know it was out until the surgeon said so. So I wouldn't worry too much. I am sure there are a few freak times that one of the ladies might of felt a small tug or pull...but I am sure it wasn't too bad. At least I HOPE not. Good luck Monday...let us know how it goes.

  • 5graces
    5graces Member Posts: 12
    edited July 2007

    I didn't feel a thing and it was done before I realized it!!!

  • fd411
    fd411 Member Posts: 9
    edited July 2007
    I stressed big time about my drain removal. It was in for 19 days.

    She told me to take a deep breath in and breath out. As I breathed out she pulled the drain out. I didn't even feel it, but was amazed at the length of the drain that was actually on the inside.

  • corvette
    corvette Member Posts: 2
    edited July 2007

    I didn't worry about this - don't know why I didn't -- turned out to be totally pain free. Felt nothing!

  • bluewillow
    bluewillow Member Posts: 28
    edited July 2007

    Whew, thank you ladies, you all have been very helpful and encouraging. What a wuss I have become in my old age... it seems that when I turned 50, I turned into a big baby!!! I will take the Percocet just in case... will let you all know how it goes. I'll just be glad to get rid of the "thing"!

  • bluewillow
    bluewillow Member Posts: 28
    edited July 2007
    Well, no drain removal today! My little "friend" is still with me and probably will be until Thursday or Friday. I did get antibiotics today for some reddening of my breast and a low-grade fever, so something good did come of today's dr. visit. I even got another refill of Percocet (oh whooppee). At least I won't dread the drain removal any more...
  • Valerie_R
    Valerie_R Member Posts: 6
    edited July 2007
    I wouldn't bother. The drug will upset your stomach and the drain removal is completely painless. I didn't even feel it and it is over in a second.

  • Sandra1957
    Sandra1957 Member Posts: 1,064
    edited July 2007

    By the time you feel the burn, it's already over. I'd skip the drugs too, not worth the few seconds of discomfort.

  • determinedmom
    determinedmom Member Posts: 1
    edited July 2007
    Not at all, just a tug - best wishes. Hope the fever and redness goes away.

  • lizws
    lizws Member Posts: 789
    edited July 2007
    Take a deep breath in and then blow it out. Take another deep breath and when they pull the drain out breathe out. I didn't feel a thing and have five of them.

  • Gulfwater
    Gulfwater Member Posts: 3
    edited August 2007

    Another -- it was just a little nothing. I had one drain for my lumpectomy. During my appointment a week later with my surgeon, he told me, "Take a deep breath." I knew what was coming. He yanked and it was out. That's all.

  • bluewillow
    bluewillow Member Posts: 28
    edited August 2007
    Thanks so much everyone! I will remember all your replies and tips! I may get mine out tomorrow, hopefully. Another question: how long is the "internal" part? An inch or two, or several? I think knowing how big it is will make me feel better...
  • jpann39
    jpann39 Member Posts: 92
    edited August 2007
    I cant answer your question about how long the internal part is as I never saw it....the Dr. had it pulled and out of sight before he even told me he was doing pain at all....maybe just a little tug feel but it didnt hurt at all...I actually thought he was just removing th bandage....

    You'll do fine with it...look the other way and think of something really nice that you would like to do for yourself that day....

    It'll be ok ....
  • denise1962
    denise1962 Member Posts: 18
    edited August 2007
    Hi Bluewillow,
    I guess I am one of those who had a freak experince with my drains. The frist one was in for 10 days and I swore I felt in move on about day 7, like it was poking up against the rib cage. I have a very high pain tolerance and when the doc pulled the frist one I quit breathing from the pain and she told my DH to tell me to start breathing. It was worse than childbirth.
    So when it was time for the second drain to come out 5 days later. I talked my DH into pulling the drain out the night before my doc appointment. There was no pain at all with the second one. But the doc was really surprised when she went to pull it and I told her what we had done the night before. She said I was her frist pateint to remove a drain.
    Like I said the frist one had moved and thats why it was so painfull.
    Good luck
  • lvtwoqlt
    lvtwoqlt Member Posts: 765
    edited August 2007
    Don't worry about the internal part, the dr put it where it needed to be, just relax, take a few deep breaths and don't look.
  • bluewillow
    bluewillow Member Posts: 28
    edited August 2007

    Well, I made it through my drain removal, and it was a breeze!!! The bad part is that my original dx of DCIS is now invasive ductal carcinoma, so it looks like chemo after all, plus rads. I'm still reeling from the change of dx, but am trying to keep a positive attitude, though it is really hard! Thanks for all your help about the drain!

  • Raye99
    Raye99 Member Posts: 114
    edited August 2007
    Bluewillow, I am sorry to hear about the IDC, but you can get through the chemo and rads.

    My bs originally thought that mine had not spread and I would not need rads, maybe chemo, but only 4 treatments. Well, same here, turned out to be in three nodes (not too bad) and big tumor, so I had both - 8 treatments of chemo and rads. You can do it.

    Best wishes to you.
  • bluewillow
    bluewillow Member Posts: 28
    edited August 2007
    Raye, thank you so much for your encouraging words! I really needed to "hear" them. And best wishes back to you!

    Mary Jo
  • Jamore
    Jamore Member Posts: 1
    edited June 2018

    I am getting my drain out today...only one, i feel fortunate! I have no idea how long it is. , but I know I will like being free of that bulb...It could have come out yesterday, by the home care nurse who is coming, but with this being a long weekend, I would not have had anyone here for a few days. Also, my surgery was just 4 days ago...not so juicy, I guess, only 15 ml in 24 hrs for the past three days now. First day was only 40 ml. I was worried about a block, but milking the drain seems fine, so, out it comes today, a fresh bandage, and nurse back on Monday. I am feeling reassured after reading these imagination is pretty crazy anyway, and with this diagnosis, procedure, and waiting for pathology results, I get myself in a right tizzy at times!

  • snickersmom
    snickersmom Member Posts: 599
    edited June 2018

    Not to worry. I never even really felt it. In fact, I kept asking my surgeon if it was going to hurt and he said he already had it out! It was nothing. But it sure felt better when they were gone. I had scar revision surgery this past February and had two drains again. No big deal on the left - it came out after a week. But then I had a staph infection on the rightside and had that one in for 3 more weeks! That drove me nuts and I just wanted to rip it out.

  • snickersmom
    snickersmom Member Posts: 599
    edited June 2018

    Forgot to say that I didn't even take Advil before. I never thought of it and wouldn't have needed it anyway