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post mastectomy drain problem
45 Posts

I had a mastectomy two days ago and already yesterday the drain seems to have blocked. I saw a nurse this a.m. and she isn't sure the problem is solved. No one at the hospital when I left after the operation mentioned this could happen and what to do.

My only option is to spend 10+ hrs waiting in overcrowded emergency to get treatment I guess…anyone else have this unwanted snag after mastectomy???

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215 Posts

I probably spent 2 hrs in every 24 hr period milking my drains. 10/20 minutes several times per day.
I received a great booklet from AHS entitled Your Journey Through Breast Cancer Surgery. There was a video referenced in the booklet about care of drains


The booklet also included exercises to gradually regain mobility.
I hope that is helpful. I was in the hospital for a few hours with my mastectomy and there was little time for any kind of follow up.
We have a breast health clinic here that actually removed my drains and answered questions for me. Do you have the equivalent in your town? The cancer information helpline could be helpful in making sure you have access to people other than Emerg.

We’ll be thinking of you ❤️


45 Posts

Many thanks for this valuable info from your experience and the very informative video!! I wish my ‘health care team’ had offered such info. I think I still only have the option of emergency to get it unblocked

@happyhiker1 The first surgical drain I had didn't work. When it was removed, there was still fluid inside me. My Plastic Surgeon was on vacation and the Doctor covering for him was going to have another surgical drain put it. But thankfully, my Plastic Surgeon returned from his vacation and used a syringe to drain the area. The next time I had a surgical drain it worked. I never did find out why the first one didn't work.

69 Posts


sorry that you’re having this problem. I did as well on my first post op night. It wasn’t draining even though I was milking it(I’m a retired RN so I was aggressive with it) . The bruising and hardness was up to my collarbone. I was in the ER 8 hours after Igot home. The triage RN was a goddess. I was literally whipped into a bed within the hour and seen by gen surgery and back to the OR by morning. No issues with the next drain.

Im in a big city in Ontario and I was told by all the RNs in the ER that cancer patients are a big priority. They don’t want us being exposed to all the bugs in waiting rooms.
i hope you get this dealt with in a timely manner. Good luck.

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