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How To Do Drain Care On Your Surgical Site?

After surgery, there is continued oozing and shedding of cells and bodily fluids at the surgical site. Removal of this fluid speeds healing and decreases the chance of infection. To increase healing and decrease the chance of infection, a wound drain is used to help this process.

These instructions are a guide for properly caring for your post-surgical wound drainage:

The drain is made up of a piece of tubing with a collection bulb at the end. It is possible for clots to form in the tubing and block the outflow of fluids. To prevent this, it will be important for you to "strip" or "milk" the tubing occasionally. To do this:

  • Hold the tubing between your thumb and index finger to a point where the tubing exits the skin.
  • Squeeze your fingers together to pinch off the tubing.
  • Position the fingers of the other hand in the same way just below the pinched-off tubing.
  • While holding the first 2 fingers in place to prevent pulling on your skin, slide the bottom 2 fingers down the tubing. This pushes any clots into the collection bulb. You might need to do this at several points down the tubing.
  • Do 2 to 3 times a day to keep the tubing clear.