A Minimalist Approach to the Care of the Indwelling Closed Suction Drain: A Prospective Analysis of Local Wound Complications

Russell R. Reid, Gregory A. Dumanian*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite their long-standing and prevalent use, closed suction drains lack a standardized postoperative care protocol. The authors present a prospective analysis of local wound problems associated with a minimalist approach to care of the drain exit site. A total of 73 patients undergoing a variety of procedures had 192 closed suction drains left in place on average over 10 days after surgery. Drain care consisted of daily showering with soap and water for the skin, no dressings, and stripping and emptying of the drain by the patient. Ninety-one percent of the patients followed the drain protocol and showered postoperatively without particular attention to the drains. There were 5 major complications of fluid collections leading to open wounds, 5 minor wound complications, and 2 wound complications unrelated to drain exit site care. Patient follow-up averaged 10 months. Overall, these data underscore the safety and efficacy associated with a simple approach to the management of closed suction drains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-578
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of plastic surgery
Volume51
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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