Drains are out, I repeat, DRAINS ARE OUT!

Standard

After a long 17 days of drain management, my drains were finally removed.

The useless pink gown I like to refer to.

Waiting in the useless pink gown, as I like to refer to them..

I had two Jackson-Pratt style drain bulbs attached to the two drain tubes extending from below my breasts.  Each tube was internally wrapped around the full outer edge of the expanders, and the tubes extended probably 18″ from my body, each with a 100ml capacity bulb to hold the lymph and blood that was being pulled from my body.  The drain tubes were sutured to my body to anchor them in place.

(Jackson-Pratt) drain bulbs with a small amount of fluid.

(Jackson-Pratt) drain bulbs with a small amount of fluid.

Each day I had to ‘milk the lines,’ by pressing the fluid down the tubes and into the bulb, then measure the total output of the fluid, close the bulb partly squished to create a bit of suction.

Measuring output from drains.

Measuring output from drains.  This is 12 hours of blood and lymph from the first half of day 17.

I was scheduled to have the drains removed at day 16.  I called to tell the nurses that my output seemed high to me, ranging from 50-90 mls per 24 hours, and they cancelled my appointment, stating that output needed to be below 35ml.  Three hours after cancelling my appointment, I received a panicked phone call that I needed to come in the next morning and have the tubes removed, citing the risk of infection being too high, so tubes needed to come out.  The nurse said they don’t like to go beyond 14 days.  I was only on antibiotics for 10 days.  Oops.

Pulled drain tube, showing channels of the portion which was just pulled from inside my breasts.

Pulled drain tube, showing channels of the portion which was just pulled from inside my breasts.

With the drain tubes out, not only do I not have to worry about the weight, the pulling, the hiding of these cumbersome tubes and bulbs, but a huge amount of pressure and discomfort in my chest was immediately released.

Just after drain removal.  I'd say this hole would fit a larger-sized drinking straw.

Just after drain removal. I’d say this hole would fit a larger-sized drinking straw.

Bandaged up and ready to go!

Bandaged up and ready to go!

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