When should they remove drains after MX and ANC?

Is there a standard procedure regarding when to remove drains?


I had a full mastectomy and lymph node clearance last Friday (9th), and came home with 2 drains attached on Saturday.


As one drain was virtually empty on Monday, that one was removed. But there was a written instruction from the surgeon to remove the drains by today at the latest. However, my drain bottle has been filling up with at least 200ml every day so far (250ml so far today and not yet 24 hours since it was changed), so I am concerned about having the drain removed. I managed to kick up a fuss yesterday and got a 24 hour extension, but I have been told it is definitely coming out tomorrow.


I am worried that with that amount of fluid building up inside me, I am at risk of seroma. I don’t know much about it, but I would rather have a drain attached until the weekend or something than worry about that!


Have other people encountered this problem? Should I be as concerned as I am? My district nurses agree with me, but they have to obey the instructions issued from the hospital.


Usually they are in for a week.General rule us that they should drain 40mls or less in 24hours.Seroma won’t do you any harm,as may well re absorb into the tissues.If uncomfortable,they can always aspirate …take care



I hope all goes well with the drain removal today. 


Mine were taken out the day after surgery. I have had seroma and have had it drained twice since - back in again this afternoon for drainage no 3. My surgeon says it will stop, but may take a few days. It’s not too unpleasant but did prevent me from doing my arm exercises as much as I would have liked last weekend. 


I hope you are feeling relieved its all over - thinking of you. 


Jules xx