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All TopicsForum: Breast Reconstruction → Topic: How many drains after DIEP/ free TRAM reconstruction

Topic: How many drains after DIEP/ free TRAM reconstruction

Forum: Breast Reconstruction — Is it right for you? Discuss timing and various procedures and techniques.

Posted on: Jun 12, 2008 10:03PM

w-jade wrote:

I've finally got the drains off me from my bilateral mastectomy.  I opted to get delayed recon after I healed a few weeks.   

Now I'm wondering, how many of those drain buggers do they put in for reconstruction? and where are they - both boobs and tummy?

Dx 4/4/2008, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 1/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 12, 2008 10:25PM sam408 wrote:

w-jade, I had a unilateral mast with tram and had 2 drains. One was under my arm and the other was under the tummy incision. I guess with a bilateral you would have a drain at each breast. I think some PS's also put more than one in at the tummy.

As you know, they're definitely a pain. Mine were removed 8 days after surgery.

Good luck with your recovery and recon.

Sheila . . .Never regret something that made you smile. Dx 2/16/2007, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jun 13, 2008 12:07AM SandyinSoCal wrote:

I had DIEP and had two drains in each armpit, plus one on each hip at the ends of the incision.   My surgeon's associate was upset at the placement of the breast drains and said he should have put them in the fold under the breasts.

I am wonderfully made to do ExtraOrdinary things! (www.girleo.com) Dx 5/22/2007, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 13, 2008 12:58AM Kathy_K wrote:

I had two in the reconstructed breast and one on each end of the incision on the hips.

When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility for more truth around her. Adrienne Rich
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Jun 13, 2008 07:20AM October wrote:

After bilateral DIEP:
One drain in each breast mound, I do not remember the exact placement now, they were removed 6 days after surgery.
Two drains abdominal incision, located about 2 inches below the incision. One removed 6 days after surgery, the other about a week after that. Still have the scars from the ab drains.

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Jun 13, 2008 07:39AM DebzNY wrote:

I had bilateral mastectomy with diep.  I had a drain at each breast and a drain at each hip. Total of four and they were removed at different times depending on output.  The last drain removed was the abdominal drain and that was about 3 wks out from surgery. 

I wore a large shirt and pinned them to the inside of the shirt.  I also was given a garter belt style thingie that I used when I went out of the house.  I lined them up (two on each side).  It helped me move around a little easier.  I realized the drains were very useful tools for healing and just tried to deal with it.  They are annoying but securing them to the garter belt kept me more mobile.


Time to Live! Dx 2/28/2007, DCIS, Stage 0, 0/4 nodes
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Jun 13, 2008 08:48AM jewelsinalabama wrote:

w-jade, I know you must be feeling alot better with the drains gone.  I had a bilateral mastectomy in 2005 and have just now had my reconstructive surgery (May 16th 2008).  I had a SIEA flap  on the right breast and a DIEP flap on the left breast.  Both had two drains each coming out from the lower side/flank near the breast, I also had two drains in the abdomen/pelvic area. The PS took out two of the drains, one from each breast, when I was discharged from the hospital (POD3) and the other 4 came out the next week.   I wish you a speedy recovery and hope all goes well with you. 

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Jun 13, 2008 08:59AM gabbygail wrote:


I had bilateral free TRAM last August.  I woke from surgery with four drains.  Each breast had a drain which was placed slightly below the breast and toward the armpit.  My abdominal drains were more like "groin drains" as they were placed down in my pubic hair region.  The breast drains were removed I think my 8th day post surgery.  The other drains were removed week 3 post surgery.  Best of luck.


"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess for he who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23 Dx 6/10/2004, ILC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 13, 2008 09:11AM Noni wrote:

I had a bilateral with DIEP and there were 6 drains total.   Two in my pubic area and two in each breast.  A few fell out early but I got the last one removed 6 weeks post surgery (I believe).

The tubes for the drains were both inserted on the side of my breasts under my armpit.  One tube was positioned below my breast and the other above.  There were times when I could see the tubes on the top of my breast.  It made me gag! 

Noni, 50 year old mother of an 11 year old brainy girl. Taking a break from BCO for a while. Now on hospice. Dx 12/5/2007, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes Dx 11/13/2015, IDC, Both breasts, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/lungs, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/10/2015 Taxol (paclitaxel) Hormonal Therapy 3/30/2016 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy 4/5/2016 External: Bone Chemotherapy 12/4/2016 Doxil (doxorubicin) Chemotherapy 2/28/2017 Adriamycin (doxorubicin)
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Jun 13, 2008 10:19AM hopefor30 wrote:

I had unilateral DIEP -- two drains in abdomen at each end of incision.   One came out shortly after discharge from the hospital and the other a few weeks later.

One drain in the breast in the armpit area -- very uncomfortable -- was in for 4 weeks and had to be re-sutured twice as it almost fell out by was still draining too much to be removed.


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Jun 13, 2008 02:17PM BethNY wrote:

I had six. Two exiting each armpit, and one exiting each side of the abdomen scar.

The four up top were removed before I left the hospital 5 days later.

The one hip drain was removed week two, and the last was week 3.


Be your own hero
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Jun 13, 2008 02:30PM NIC wrote:

This is so interesting, the variation between procedures!  I had unilateral DIEP.  Had one drain from the new breast mound, underneath, near the crease.  Two from the abdomen, below the incision and right below the navel.  I never realized anyone had them in other locations....on the sides of the incisions would be more akward, I think.

My breast drain came out on my first checkup, 2 weeks after surgery.  Abdominal drains were in for 6 weeks, but that was probably because I got active again pretty quickly.

Dx 7/7/2003, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 1, 1/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-

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