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Drainage tubes

Posts: 42
Joined: Oct 2009

Just a couple of questions here---

How long did you have drainage tubes from your neck? I wonder about them because carrying the "lab glasses" along with bloody tubes kind of will make me feeling self-conscious in front of the visitors. Can I wear my PJ after surgery?

Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2009

I had a thyroidectomy and right neck dissection on Sept. 15th. If I recall, the drainage tubes came out around the 18th, a day before I was discharged.

Assuming that you're still in the hospital, I don't think they'll take them out until you the fluids that are draining are at a minimal flow... but your doctor may have a different stance on it [I was pretty pro-active with my treatment, asking my doctor and nurses each time they visited, "When are you taking these grenades off of me?" (On a side note, I called them "grenades" rather than "lab glasses" but it could be from my time in the Marines since that's what I thought they looked like.... ;)]

As for PJ's, I think every hospital has a different policy but I believe your own dignity is more important than whatever policy the hospital has in place so I say wear whatever is most comfortable to you. And don't worry about "how you look" to your guests. They'll just be happy to see you.

Just remember, it may seem tough and uncomfortable at times, but you'll make it through this and survive. And you are not alone. I've been through this and many others before us. You will make it and LIVE.

Take care,


Posts: 42
Joined: Oct 2009

I'm sure that they were not comfortable - especially when you had to go to the bathroom! I can't imagine carrying "grenades" if I have to go to the bathroom... Do I have to get the nurse to carry them for me?

Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2009

Thyroid removed on 8/25 with NO drainage tubes. Bilateral Lymph Node dissection on 9/28 with one drainage tube that was removed after a week. It was cumbersome but fairly easy to hide. Showering was a challenge - we had a lanyard like coaches hang around their neck with their whistle. I clipped the grenade loop on the lanyard for showering. Sleeping was interesting too because I pretty much had to wake myself up to turn over so I wouldn't squish the grenade. But the good news is that removing the tube was absolutely painless and having the whole apparatus GONE was like an early Christmas gift!

Posts: 42
Joined: Oct 2009

Hi again

I had a big round thing that has a lot of swirls inside and I'd put it in my robe's pocket whenever I got out of the bed... I had one drainage so it wasn't that bad...

Sally08's picture
Posts: 47
Joined: Jan 2009

Glad to hear it wasn't as bad as you thought :) I remember my first surgery they left the drainage tube in for about a week... had to go to the store and church etc with it in... but I just had to remind myself... This tube is what's going to assure a fast and proper healing... if it offends some people then they can kiss my you know what :-P
As I'm able to look back now... humor has truly helped me deal with so many of the 'uncomfortableness" of the dreaded "C" word lol
Very glad to hear you're in better spirits :)
Go You!! :-D

Posts: 42
Joined: Oct 2009

I feel for you, Sally...I agree that humor should be everywhere- laugh all the problems away and have positive attitude all the way... God Bless.

Posts: 5
Joined: Dec 2009

the first bi-lateral disection I had in Houston I had the tubes in about a week - was staying at a hotel consisting predominately of Cancer patients and their care givers. I would "tuck" my drainage "collectors" inside a button up oversized shirt and eat breakfast in the common area and one of the other cancer patients comment was so funny - He said - another operation like that and you'll be a regular Dolly Parton! - put a different perspective on my delima.It helps to maintain a sense of humor. The 2nd disection was a couple years later and I had just one drainage tube - but was in about a week again. Depends on flow, etc. That 2nd time It was the same, just tuck it into something and keep on going. Cancer can't take away your right to "do what you wanna do" okay? Good luck!! - Papillary Thyroid cancer is my game. Been fighting it since 2004 (and before it you start from the first tests) had 4 surgeries and "no cancer" report since Feb of this year. YAHOO X'S 2 !! Living it up now.
However - I've had Chronic HIVES(every DAY)since Aug 11 this year and can't seem to get a handle on them. Been to walk in clinic or ER 3 times due to burning and involvement in the face and lips. Worked with my GP & Alergist and nobody seems to be able to get these to go away more than 12 - 24 hours?????Anyone else have that going on? Where can I find relief from this?

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