Patient Questions

QUESTION

Using Suction Drains for Breast Augmentation Revision

Hi doctors. What are your thoughts about using drains for breast augmentation revisions? My plastic surgeon is about to perform a capsulorrhaphy on me along with making the pocket larger. Do you think drains should be used afterwards? What are the pros and cons with suction drains? I am concerned about the increased risk of infection. Will the drains help lessen the formation of scar tissues? Many thanks for your advice in advance.

ANSWER

Drain Usage For Breast Implants

Thanks for the great question - You're going to get some variability on answers on this one. There is pros and cons to drain usage. The pros are they are an effective way to remove accumulating fluid at operative sites. The cons are they create extra scar, they can be a conduit for bacteria, which can lead to infection and can be uncomfortable. In our San Francisco area practice we do not use drains for primary breast augmentation as I feel the fluid accumulation is small and self-limiting and the risk of infection to the implants does not warrant it. For patients receiving explant and capsulectomy I very commonly use drains because removing the capsule can cause significant fluid collections into the potential space occupied by the implants. In your case - it would depend. If there were significant amount of scar tissue that would possibly create a lot of fluid I would consider drains left in place for a short time but I would absolutely individualize it for each patient. There has to be an analysis of the risks and benefits for each patient. I hope this helps.

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