Font Size

Breast Reconstruction (cont.)

Postoperative Drains in Breast Reconstruction

Most reconstructive surgeons use drains in the reconstructive and flap donor sites after surgery. Nurses in the hospital, in addition to the surgeon, will instruct the patient as to the daily care of these drains. It is important for the patient to strip the drain of any thick contents multiple times during the day to keep the drain tube from becoming blocked. It will also be important for the patient to measure the amount of fluid that collects in a drain over a 24-hour period. When the amount of fluid is decreased, it will be an indicator that the drain can be removed. Some surgeons will want the patient to be on a low dose of an antibiotics while the drains are in place. It is important that the patient takes the medication as prescribed. Additionally, surgeons may have specific instructions for their patients regarding the appropriateness of showering while drains are in place. Please ask the plastic surgeon or the office staff for showering limitations.

Postoperative Garments in Breast Reconstruction

Most plastic surgeons have very specific recommendations regarding postoperative garments, specifically bras and girdles. Please consult with the plastic surgeon regarding any changes in the garment selection. The timing of converting to an underwire bra or discontinuing a compressive girdle may have distinct implications to wound healing.

Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care


"Overview of breast reconstruction"

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/24/2016
Medical Author:
Medical Editor:
Medical Editor:
Medical Editor:

Must Read Articles Related to Breast Reconstruction

Lumpectomy Lumpectomy is surgery to remove a suspected learn more >>
Mastectomy A mastectomy is a procedure to remove a woman'...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Breast Reconstruction:

Breast Reconstruction -- Patient Experience

Tell us about your breast reconstruction.

Breast Reconstruction -- Surgical Complications

Did you have surgical complications with your breast reconstruction? Tell us about it.

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Breast Reconstruction, Expander-Implant »

The goal of breast reconstruction is to recreate symmetric natural-appearing breasts while preserving patient safety and quality of life.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

Medical Dictionary