Mastectomy /ANC drains

Hi, I’m hoping you can give me some idea on what to expect from my drains please?! I’m 4 days post single mastectomy and ANC and have two drains. One of them is draining 30-40ml daily which I understand is great and hopefully means I can have it removed on day 7. The other one is still draining 100ml+ each day. Both drains are still very red, none of this ‘straw’ colour I was told to expect. There are clots coming through the pipe which I assume is normal but also something looking like a long, coiled piece of string?! 

I think I’m just being paranoid about it all. I know there’s no ‘normal’ to these things but if you could give me some ideas I’d be grateful please. I can ring my BCN on Monday if necessary but thought I’d try here first.

Thank you so much.

Doris xxx


I have had 2 single mastectomies and both times my drain had to be in for 9 days. My levels were too high. The fluid draining was a variety of colours too. I think it sounds normal but ringing your bc nurse on Monday for reassurance sounds sensible. Look after yourself and be kind to yourself while you recover. Take care xxx

Hi Doris  

Thanks for posting.  

It’s understandable to feel paranoid in the early days after surgery and the weekend can be more difficult as there are less people available to contact. 

It’s good to see you had a response from @Hope123 over the weekend. It might help to know our helpline is open on a Saturday 9am-1pm. 

The fluid that comes from drains includes a mix of blood and serous fluid (straw like in colour). It can start off quite red before fading.  Clots can also pass through the drain and the string like substance you noticed may have been a clot or a piece of tissue. Again, this can happen. 

From the date of your post, it looks as though you are day 6 post op today so may be seeing one of your team or a district nurse tomorrow. Bbut hopefully you’ve left a message as you say for your breast care nurse to talk this through. 

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Breast Care Nurse 

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