Gynecomastia and the Need for Drains

Some men have voiced concern about the use of drains after male breast reduction surgery. They are somewhat cumbersome, and a little uncomfortable when removed, but the advantages greatly out weight the disadvantages.

Drains May Prevent Infections

Drains collapse the “dead space” that is left after surgery. Without the drain, the space may collect fluid and can cause an infection or other complications. The type of drain used is called a Jackson Pratt which uses mild suction removing fluids through a clear plastic tube from the surgery site to a small bulb that is placed in a small pocket of the compression vest.

Periodically the bulb needs to be emptied and Dr. Miguel Delgado, M.D. wants the patient to keep a log of the amount of fluid removed and its color. This information is important for Dr. Delgado to monitor how the healing is progressing.

The most common drainage is serosanguinous, which is a thin watery substance usually pink to dark red from red blood cells. If the fluid is thick and the color is yellow, green, tan, or brown, it is referred to as purulent exudate and may be an indication of bacteria present in high levels or an infection.

Experience Proves the Advantage of Drains

Some surgeons use drains, and some do not. Dr. Delgado has over 25 years of gynecomastia surgery experience, and he claims that by using drains the incidence of complications is very minimal. If drains are not used it is possible that fluid may collect in the “dead space” and will need to be aspirated and maybe more than once.

For most patients, the drains are removed at the first post-operative visit usually within 4 days. When the tube is removed from the surgery site, you may feel a slight burning sensation, but it only lasts a few seconds.

Stay in Touch With Your Surgeon

Dr. Delgado instructs his patients to notify him if any of the following conditions are noted:
• Fever
• The color of fluid is brown, yellow, or green
• A change in the odor of the fluid
• An increase of pain

For any concerns about male breast reduction, call now (415) 898-4161 for an appointment with Dr. Delgado.

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