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post-mastectomy drain tube

Posts: 52
Joined: May 2001

Well the bilateral mastectomy was Friday - minimal pain and only a few lymph nodes needed removal. Initial surgical opinion is very encouraging - will receive path report on Wednesday. Question I have is regarding removing of the drain tubes - one in each side. I had little no pain post-mastectomy - how painful is it to remove the tubes in the office. So far I've managed to use primarily Tylenol - should I expect more? How long does it take the remove the tubes? Thanks for your "experience sharing". Gayle

Posts: 30
Joined: Dec 2000


My name is Cindy. I have found this discussion group so helpful.

It is so nice to hear you are doing well. Glad to hear the initial opinion from your doctor is very encouraging. That helps alot to hear encouraging news. :):)

It has been two years since I had my right breast removed. I did not find the tube removal really painful. It is a bit uncomfortable but goes quickly and it is so nice not to have the tube there anymore. It took about 5 minutes to have the one tube removed.

I will be praying for good news for you on Wednesday.

God bless you. Cindy

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Posts: 931
Joined: Oct 2000

Hi Gayle! Glad you have managed so well following surgery. The tube removal is quick. A quick pull and they're out. It's uncomfortable for a second but nothing bad. I had 2 tubes in the armpit and 2 in the abdomen(I had a Tram flap reconstruction.) The abdomen was more uncomfortable than the armpit! Good luck with the path reports. I'm praying for good news for you. Cathy

Posts: 6
Joined: May 2001

Hi Gayle:
I had a bilateral mastectomy in September. We started the reconstruction at that time, so I had the latis. procedure. Using my lat. muscles in my back and bringing them around to my chest. I had two drainage tubes in the front and two in my back. I did not even feel it when they took my tubes out. I think it was about four days after surgery that I got my tubes out. Are you having any reconstruction done?
Good Luck - Cindy C.

Posts: 52
Joined: May 2001

Cindy - thanks for your response - yes I'm having reconstruction done - but I have to delay it until following radiation (I had chemo before surgery to shrink the tumor). Reconstruction should be in about 6-9 months - probably expanders and saline implants as I here the other proceures are much more involved. What do you think?

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Posts: 105
Joined: Jan 2001

Hi, Gayle!
So happy to hear you are doing well! I will be joining everyone in prayer that your path report is good. I had a bilateral in December with reconstruction beginning immediately. They inserted tissue expanders and I had 2 drains on each side. I hated those things!!! After one week, he removed one from either side, then waited a week and removed the last 2. The removal was nothing, really. He talked my way through it and did it so fast I didn't have time to react! Mostly I felt great relief. Like someone else said, it was the best I had felt since surgery! The fact that you have not needed strong pain medication is a very good sign...YOU ARE STRONG!
Keep us posted on your progress and I will keep you in my prayers.
Mel in Ark.

Posts: 2
Joined: May 2001

It is not at all painful to have the drainage tubes removed. I had 3 of them myself last June which were removed about a week after the surgery (modified radical mastectomy with reconstructive surgery). The doctor just said to take a deep breath and while I was concentrating on that he removed them. No pain! I didn't even need any Tylenol or any pain reliever. You'll do really good.

Posts: 109
Joined: Dec 2000

I remember the tube pulling as a baby ouch. I was anxious to get them out. As soon as she had them the site was just tender - but not really painful. They were annoying after a few days so I glad to get them out. I had surgery on a Monday, left hospital on Thursday, and had the tubes pulled the next week. It depends on how much they are still draining. Keep us posted. Debw

tcbangels's picture
Posts: 114
Joined: Jun 2001

I had only one breast removed but the drain tubes got infected onme so I ended back in hospital so it was painful removing them.I say this listen to your Doctor & do whatever he tells you to do with the care of tubes.I say that because I had a lot of pain but my Doctor said it was because they got infected,

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