Mastectomy drains

Doctors don’t warn you about drains… Try to get a visiting nurse for this.  I found them to be alternatingly (I know, but some times you have to make up words) disgustingly gross or hilarious.  Two breasts done?  Two drains – one for each.  One mastectomy – one drain.  They will be in you several days to a week or so depending on how much liquid is being produced by your wound.  What the drains do is pull the blood and pus away from your chest without you having to change dressings every other hour.  You can safety pin the top of them to your bra so they don’t flip around inside your shirt.  You empty them twice a day and measure how much liquid is leaving you and mark that on a chart.  Once the liquid is down to a certain level which the nurse will explain, the docs determine that it is okay to remove your drain (s).  They are generally sewn in with a couple of sutures which are snipped – I did not feel it when they were removed and was really glad when they were gone.  This site has a picture of a drain.  In my opinion, the only interesting thing about drains is that you can pretend you are a stripper with breast tassels…

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