Breast Cancer Haven

Home with drain still in place

Hi ladies 6days post mastectomy, discharged with one drain still in place, one taken out while still in hospital. Still draining way above magic number of 50mls to get drain out (180 MLS today) doctor had said it would be taken out once has been in a week no matter what drainage is. What happens then? Does it just build up or will my body gradually star to absorb it? Anyone else had this problem? Not sure how to go forward I know doctor will make decision but would be grateful for your experiences.

6 Replies

Hi Anita,

I had a left sided mastectomy with immediate reconstruction using the LD Flap last Jan, I was discharged with all 3 drains and a pain ball still attached.! It took my last drain until the 2 week mark to be taken out but it was still draining well over 100mls, I had fluid drains twice after that by my consultant and then body started to absorb it.

I hope that other than the discomfort of your drain, everything has gone smoothly and your now recovering well



Hi Anita-B

Glad you're home 💐 I had my drain out after a week but had a couple of needle aspirations, as the seroma was 'sloshing' around when I moved in bed, a very weird sensation! Don't worry if you need it doing, it doesn't hurt at all as the skin is still pretty numb, it just feels more comfortable.

I hope you continue to improve steadily & take it easy 💐

Mrs Nails 💅🏼

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Like you, I went home with drains in (both). They were able to remove one a day later, but the other bottle just kept filling up! At day 8 they said it had to come out. It was removed. I had two seromas build up, one at each end of the mx scar. Had to go to my bc nurse to have them drained. It happened again 3 days later. Went back and had them drained again. After that my body coped and there was no more fluid build up. The draining off is completely painless, I just chose to look away. The longer the bottles stay connected, the higher the risk of infection. Trust their decision. They know what they are doing.


Hello Anita. I came home after right mx with drain in place. Failed abysmally to reduce ml's, hitting 180 regularly tho not every day. My follow up appointment was actually 9 days after the op and was advised drain would be removed irrespective of volume. My visiting community nurse wouldn't take it out unless less than 30mls.

So day 9 and the little feccer put up a bit of a fight 😅 but out it came! Luckily I only had one small seroma at sternum for 4 days which went away itself. I then got - and still have - hardening under the middle half of the scar, I'm not sure if that's hard lymph fluid or scar tissue. Either way gentle massage has been advised with oil for the scar as it has now healed over. Am also advised the body will learn to absorb these fluids in time.

Hope this helps. All the best xx


I had seromas after both mastectomies, drains just did not work in me for some reason so were taken out after 2 days both times. Seromas took a long time to fully absorb, about 8 months first time and still small one from mx in August but it has firmed up. Can feel quite weird as it moves with you but not painful, more frustrating than anything. Mine was drained weekly first time, sometimes 400mls. Much more reluctant to drain it second time round, not painful as they have already cut through nerves. No quick fix for this one only time.


Hi. I came home with both drains. One was taken out a couple of days later but the other one kept filling up to 100. They took out after 10 days. I was lucky and any fliud that was left dispersed through out the next few weeks.


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