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General Practice 2023

Circular drainúrgico: what é, how to care (and other dúlives)

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Circular drainúrgico: what é, how to care (and other dúlives)
Circular drainúrgico: what é, how to care (and other dúlives)

The drain is a small, thin tube that can be inserted into the skin after some surgeries, to help remove excess fluid, such as blood and pus, that can end up accumulating at the operated site. Surgeries in which drain placement is more common include abdominal surgeries, such as bariatric, lung or breast surgery, for example.

In most cases, the drain is inserted below the surgical scar and fixed with stitches or staples, and can be kept in place for about 1 to 4 weeks.

The drain can be placed in different regions of the body and, therefore, there are different types of drains, which can be made of rubber, plastic or silicone. Although there are several types of drain, the care is usually similar.

How to take care of the drain

To keep the drain working properly, it is not possible to break the tube or make sudden movements because they can end up tearing the drain and causing an injury to the skin. Therefore, one of the best ways to take care of the drain is to stay calm and rest, as directed by your doctor.

In addition, if it is necessary to take the drain home, it is very important to record the color and amount of liquid that is eliminated to inform the nurse or doctor, so that these professionals can assess the healing.

The dressing, drain or deposit must not be changed at home, but must be replaced at the hospital or he alth center by a nurse. So, if the dressing is wet or if the drain container is full, you should go to the he alth center or call the doctor or nurse to find out what to do.

Other common questions

In addition to knowing how to take care of the drain, there are also other common questions:

1. How do I know if the drain is working?

If the drain is working properly, the amount of fluid that comes out should decrease as the days go by and the skin near the dressing should remain clean and free of redness or swelling. Also, the drain should not cause pain, just a little discomfort where it is inserted into the skin.

2. When should the drain be removed?

Usually the drain is removed when the secretion stops coming out and if the scar does not show signs of infection such as redness and swelling. Thus, the length of stay with the drain varies with the type of surgery, ranging from a few days to a few weeks.

3. Is it possible to shower with the drain?

In most cases it is possible to take a shower with the drain, but the wound dressing should not be wet, as it increases the risk of infection.

So, if the drain is in the chest or abdomen, for example, you can take a shower from the waist down and then pass a sponge in the upper region to clean the skin.

4. Does ice relieve drain pain?

If you feel pain at the drain site, ice should not be placed, as the presence of the drain does not cause pain, only discomfort.

So, in case you feel pain, it is necessary to quickly inform the doctor because the drain may be diverted from the correct place or be developing an infection and ice will not treat the problem, it will only reduce the swelling and relieve the pain for a few minutes and when wetting the dressing the risk of infection is greater.

Changing deposit at the hospital

Change hospital deposit

5. Do I need to take any medicine because of the drain?

Your doctor may recommend taking an antibiotic, such as Amoxicillin or Azithromycin, to prevent an infection from developing, and in most cases it should be taken twice a day.

In addition, to reduce discomfort, you can also prescribe an analgesic, such as Paracetamol, every 8 hours.

6. What complications can arise?

The main risks of the drain are infections, bleeding or perforation of organs, however these complications are very rare.

7. Does removing the drain hurt?

Usually, removing the drain does not hurt and therefore no anesthesia is needed, however in some cases, such as chest drain, local anesthesia can be applied to reduce discomfort.

Removing the drain may cause discomfort for a few seconds, which is how long it takes to remove it. To relieve this feeling, it is recommended to take a deep breath when the nurse or doctor is removing the drain.

8. Do I need stitches after removing the drain?


9. What can I do if the drain comes out on its own?

In case the drain comes out by itself, it is recommended to cover the hole with a bandage and go quickly to the emergency room or hospital. The drain that came out should never be put back in, as it could perforate an organ.

10. Can the drain leave a scar?

In some cases, a small scar may appear where the drain was inserted.

Little scar

When is it recommended to go to the doctor?

It is necessary to return to the doctor whenever it is necessary to change the dressing or to remove the stitches or staples. However, you should also go to the doctor if there is:

  • Redness, swelling, or pus around the skin drain insertion;
  • Intense pain at the drain site;
  • Strong and unpleasant smell in the dressing;
  • Wet dressing;
  • Increase in the amount of fluid drained over the days;
  • Fever above 38ยบ C.

These signs indicate that the drain is not working properly or that there may be an infection, and it is very important to identify the problem in order to carry out the proper treatment. See other strategies to recover faster from surgery.

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