Practical Drain Advice

Hello everyone,

Although I don’t have it in much longer and I know the clinical team advice on emptying and cleaning my drain, I am finding it quite cumbersome and wonder if anyone has any practical hints and tips for managing more easily. For example, twice I’ve rolled over in bed to find a damp patch and the tube’s detached itself from the bulb. Knowing how to set up for sleeping is something I’ve not yet mastered. I try it differently every night. I guess I’m learning just how much I move about when asleep!

I could feel the entry point into my body wasn’t right but had to use my phone to take a photo and understand the dressing supposedly keeping it in place had become all ruffled up. I can’t see mine myself.

Together with lumpectomy, I’ve had full axial node clearance, so the latter is what mine is for. I’m wearing a very light sports bra from John Lewis, but tube over or under at the side? Also I’ve got the tube coming out of a button up shirt, but again that seems to be dragging with the weight of the bulb, even when empty. I have it in a small floral drain bag with a cord neck tape to hang it round my neck given to me by the hospital.

All ideas and suggestions for improvement very welcome! Is my experience typical?

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The drain bags are uncomfortable I think you are doing all you can do . The only thing I did was to sleep on my back I had a v pillow which l found helped , my bags was taken out after 10 days l was glad to see the back of them.

I’ve not had this but have had some experience working with drains . I’m trying to visualise it so forgive me if I get it wrong. As to bringing the drain out over or under your crop top take it whichever way will cause least pulling on the tube when you’re
sleeping which I’m thinking will be under but it depends how it’s been secured/ what direction it’s pointing in - what seems to be the most natural direction is probably best .

For sleeping is it possible for you to tape it so that the bulb is sitting on or near the front of your body but with some slack on the tubing so that it isn’t pulling . The reason I’m suggesting that is that I think at present you would be unlikely to roll onto your front at present and if you turn onto your side it would move with you ( might still wake you) . If you have an old vest or cami top you put on over the bulb / bottle that would also help stop it moving too much.

For daytime - hard for me to say without knowjng how long the tube is . I remember a memorable post from someone who had a waterproof jacket that could be opened under the arm ( I also have a jacket like this ) . She fed the drain through the hole and carried it in the jacket pocket instead of the bag which felt more comfortable and natural for her . It’s colder weather now but if you have a jacket with an inside pocket maybe that would work.

Hope you figure it out - and that you can be rid of it soon.
Joanne. X

Hi suedot, drains are so uncomfortable aren’t they! I had a type which did not need emptying but still found sleeping very tricky. Something that helped me is I put a small stool next to my bed and placed the drain upright on that during the night. As after my surgeries I slept on my back due to the drain and soreness, it seemed to stay in place without falling over.
For the daytime, I found a light post-surgery dressing gown with drain pockets from George at Asda (about £16) which was quite helpful for carrying it around for a few days.
Hope you get it removed soon and have a speedy recovery x