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Pain with JP milking

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2010

Hello, i'm new here. I was diagnosed with L breast IBC (HER2-NU+ PR- ER-)in March 2010< I finished 20 weeks of chemo two weeks ago. Thursday 9-2 I had a L modified radical with lymph pocket taken and R simple mastectomy. I have two JP's on each side. On Friday 9-3 my surgeon came to see me and said that I had developed a large hemotoma on the L side and one of my drains was clogged. She said that she would have to open the entire incision, remove the hematoma and replace the drains. I had it done, now have to mill and empty the drains every 3 hours. The L side is doing well, that is the side that had the IBC and lymph involvement, but it is the R side that is causing me pain. It feels like its ripping inside. I came home today, Sunday 9-5, of course this started once I got home! When I milk the JP tube it sends a horrible shooting burn through the incision. Ive called the on call resident for the past 3 hours with no response. Any ideas what could cause this pain?

carkris's picture
Posts: 4554
Joined: Aug 2009

I had this pain initially, for me it was the suction action and stopped hurting after a while. But if you are really aggressive it can hurt more. I was very picky about getting it cleared oout and so was more aggressive about it. I hope they call you back soon.

carkris's picture
Posts: 4554
Joined: Aug 2009

I was so focused on the question because it is hard to explain, but I want to welcome you to the site. You will get lots of help and caring here. Sorry you had to join, but glad you found us.

Posts: 826
Joined: Jun 2007

I found that I had to be very certain to grasp the tube close to the body and hold firmly to make sure I was not pulling at the skin even the slightest bit, or it would hurt a lot. You may already be doing this, but try holding it tightly with one hand, maybe even push inward gently, then use the other hand to squeeze the tube and slide it down toward the bulb. If your hand does not slide easily, use a damp cloth to help it slide more easily. The main goal is to clear the tubes. The suction will happen naturally as you go about your business. If the incision site continues to hurt when you are not clearing the drains, get some gauze and tape, or bandaids, to keep them from moving around when you move. For me, once I learned to keep from pulling or moving the tubes at the incision site, it hurt much less.

Hope this helps, seof

Jean 0609's picture
Jean 0609
Posts: 2462
Joined: Jun 2010

I found it easier if my husband or someone else helped me strip or milk the drain. I would hold it up as close to my skin as possible, then he would strip it for me. It worked for me.

Posts: 15
Joined: Jul 2010

Sorry I just now saw your comment.Hopefully you've gotten in touch with a professional.I have milked my drains for small clots with no pain.Your recent history shows you need attention.All our pain is individual but I doubt you should be having that much difficulty. Please make sure you are followed closely.

canjuncutie's picture
Posts: 132
Joined: Jul 2010

My pain was they were infected. The pain happened everytime i drained them. No matter what i did.I had to wait until the first office visit they thankfully got removed without a problem. I had no pain since and i can sleep thru the night. My were on my left side. I am still on the learning curve lol.

carkris's picture
Posts: 4554
Joined: Aug 2009

I also held it at the top and stripped downward, I used an alcohol wipe to slide down the drain.

missrenee's picture
Posts: 2137
Joined: Apr 2010

The surgeon said to be sure and "milk" them to prevent clogging and encourage the drainage. He recommended using a pencil between the first finger and thumb, grasping at the top of the tube and flattening the tube all the way down. I did this several times a day (it was much easier with my husband doing it) and believe you me--it hurt like heck under my arm and down the back of my arm. It felt like a hot nerve-type pain. As my husband did it, I rubbed the backside of my arm really hard and cried. The pain remained for several minutes after we were done. I don't know why this happened but my surgeon said the tip inside was probably right up against a nerve. I had that sucker in for five weeks and was so happy when it was removed.

Good luck with yours--try to remember, it's only temporary.

Hugs, Renee

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