Where does the saline in my implants come from?

By Dr. Ted
Saline breast implants have a silicone shell that is inserted empty and then filled with sterile salt water. But where exactly does that salt water come from?

I don’t make period trips to the beach to scoop up buckets of salt water. Although seawater does contain dissolved salts, it is also home to various microscopic organizations, which have no place in your implants.

Saline implants are filled with salt water in about the same density as the ocean water, so when you're swimming, you'll be neutrally buoyant.

Saline implants are filled with salt water in about the same density as ocean water, so when you’re swimming, you’ll be neutrally buoyant.

Nor do I fill a glass with tap water and shake in a teaspoon of salt, like my mom did when I had a sore throat and she made me gargle. Tap water won’t hurt you, but it does contain minerals and trace elements and is therefore not sterile.

The saline solution that fills saline breast implants is manufactured by a few pharmaceutical companies. It is a mixture of sodium chloride, or salt, and sterile water, and it’s free of contaminants, microorganisms and bacteria. That’s important to minimize the chance of infection.

Although saline solution is a simple drug, making it is surprisingly complicated. More than 30 steps and a range of supplies are involved in producing sterile saline. According to Valerie Jensen at the Food and Drug Administration, “It takes about three weeks to make one batch of normal saline from start to finish.”

There’s a huge demand for that saline. The same sterile saline solution that fills your breast implants is used in contact lens solutions and in dialysis labs. It’s used to clean wounds, mix medications and fill I.V. bags to rehydrate someone who’s lost fluids from diarrhea or vomiting.

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FILLING THE IMPLANTS: Saline implants are sterile as well, and I take every precaution to maintain their sterility. Once the empty implant is in place but before the incision is closed, I draw the sterile saline solution out of an IV bag and into a filling syringe. The saline is inserted through a valve in the implant. The valve is self-sealing, which prevents the saline from leaking out. This is known as a “sterile closed fill system.”

In addition, to lower the already-low chance of infection, patients are given oral antibiotics before surgery, the skin around the incision site is prepped with an antiseptic solution, and the field is irrigated with an antibiotic solution.

If a saline implant shell tears and the saline solution leaks out, it cannot harm you. It’s the same concentration as the salt water that makes up about 60 percent of the human body. Your body absorbs the saline and then you urinate it out.

So this holiday weekend, if you’re thinking of taking your breast implants for a swim in the ocean, know that they are filled with salt water that’s the same density as the ocean but didn’t come from the ocean.

Happy July 4th holiday.

 

 

How Much Does It Hurt?

By Dr. Ted

People experience pain differently – some are more sensitive than others, and according to an article on WebMD.com, both biological and psychological factors are at play.

After performing thousands of breast augmentations, talking with women at their first postoperative visit, and reviewing the results of a patient questionnaire that asks them to rate their level of pain/discomfort on the first few days after surgery, I’ve discovered that women usually describe the feeling as discomfort, not pain.

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For three days after surgery, on average, women who have had children tell me that they feel like they did when their breasts were fully engorged with milk after childbirth. Women who haven’t had children describe the feeling as tightness, burning or pressure. The discomfort usually starts to ease up significantly on the fourth day after surgery. About 90 percent of my patients say they are comfortable enough to return to work in an office setting on the fifth day after surgery.

I prescribe medications to make patients more comfortable during the recovery period. These include a narcotic, muscle relaxant and anti-inflammatory. While some women take all three as prescribed, others might just take the anti-inflammatory and an occasional pain pill. They might take the muscle relaxant to help them sleep at night.

pp4In addition to oral medications, some surgeons also give their patients a pain pump. They will insert a catheter (a small tube) near the surgery site at the end of the procedure. The tube is attached to a pump that automatically and continuously delivers a local anesthetic for several days after surgery.

I’m not a fan of the pain pump for the following reasons:

  • It can act as an entrance site for bacteria.
  • The patient can’t increase the pump’s rate because too much medication would be toxic.
  • When the patient sleeps, she has to be careful that the device isn’t under the covers or on the floor, because the tube could be pulled out.
  • The catheter site and pump have to be protected from water, making showering more difficult.
  • The device has to be removed at a post-op visit.
  • Most importantly, I find that post-op discomfort can be managed well with oral medications.

Women who must use their arms to lift, push or pull (such as nurses, hairstylists or waitresses) normally return to work toward the end of the second week, around the 14th day after surgery. Although they may experience a little discomfort, they manage and are fully good to go by the third week.

Titbit: Researchers report that redheads, smokers, and people who are obese report more pain. Also, depression and anxiety can make someone more sensitive to pain.

Do women get breast implants to please their partners?

By Dr. Ted
Although men may have the fantasy that women get implants to make them happy, they are wrong. Through the years, women have consistently told us that their partners love them exactly the way they are, and they are having surgery to make themselves look and feel better.

Recently, the husband of one of my patients wrote us a letter talking about the experience from his point of view, and he invited us to share it.  We’re doing just that:

“My wife was unhappy with the size of her breasts for years, basically as long as I have known her; perhaps it’s been longer. I can say that I honestly didn’t understand it – I knew she was smaller than most women, but I didn’t care, I liked her how she was.

Screen shot 2014-03-22 at 11.14.08 AMIt was easy for me to imagine that it didn’t make any difference, because if I was happy, as her husband, with her look, then I just assumed everything was okay. She never complained, but she did mention it every so often. After 25 years, I still didn’t ‘get it,’ but knowing how important it was to her, I agreed to support her idea to get surgery.

One of the things I appreciated was that once we made the decision, she included me in the process. She let me help pick out the doctor and we spent a lot of time looking at pictures of breasts on the Internet. The ultimate decision was hers, and I wasn’t at her consultation, but by the time it occurred, she knew what I would like, too.

Screen shot 2014-03-22 at 11.15.42 AMWithin a month or so after surgery, I noticed a change in my wife. I don’t mean physical, that change was obvious, and even though I was happy before, I was certainly happy to have what felt like a different set of breasts – not better in my eyes, just different. The change I’m referring to is the change that happened deep inside her. She’s more confident. She carries herself differently, her attitude is different, and yes, quite honestly, the intimacy is better.

It’s about 4 months after the surgery and I can say that my wife and I are happier than we’ve ever been, and we had a good marriage before the surgery. If I were reading this, I might not believe it, but I can tell you that it is absolutely true.

So, with all this in mind, if I were to give advice to the partner of a potential patient, I’d say the following: If this is important to your significant other, support and embrace the change. Because the benefits of this surgery for us extended way beyond any cost of time, money and recovery.”  – David W.

Are Implants Marital Assets? According to the Bismarck Tribune, when Erik and Traci Isaacson of North Dakota were going through a divorce in 2008, Erik demanded that the $5,500 he had spent on Traci’s breast implants be counted as marital assets, which would entitle him to additional property in the breakup. The lower court said his claim was “absolute nonsense.” Erik took his claim to the North Dakota Supreme Court, which ruled against him, too. 

Where are breast augmentations performed?

By Dr. Ted
Breast augmentation surgery is commonly performed in a hospital operating room or an outpatient (ambulatory) surgery center. While both are good options, I’ve chosen to do all of my surgeries in a hospital. These are a few of my favorite things about working in a hospital – specifically Nazareth Hospital in Northeast Philadelphia:

When I joined the staff 16 years ago, I felt like I had found my surgical home. It’s a little bit like the bar in Cheers, the ’80s sitcom, “where everybody knows your name.”

Through the years, I’ve gotten to know scores of people who work in the OR – anesthesiologists, nurses, technicians, etc. It feels like a family; some people have worked together for as long as 30 years. We celebrate birthdays, marriages, and retirements. I’ve seen that the concern for each other translates into concern for each patient.

Sterling Gray and his watercolor, "The Color of Love."

Sterling Gray and his watercolor, “The Color of Love.”

I’ve worked with people from Korea, India, Italy, the Philippines, Russia and Peru and learned about their cultures – along with several words in their languages. (You might not be surprised to know that one of the words I learned is “breasts”!) One of my co-workers is an accomplished painter; his paintings are hanging in my office and in my home.

I appreciate the hospital’s high standards. The administration reviews each surgeon’s credentials and training and requires board certification as a prerequisite for joining the staff. Nurses and staff participate in weekly in-service trainings and must earn continuing medical education credits  to maintain their licensure.

I work with talented, competent and sensitive colleagues, and we enjoy exchanging ideas, discussing the latest medical research, and sharing suggestions to improve the patient experience. Every nurse and assistant in the OR is cross-trained and experienced with cosmetic breast surgery, so they can fill in and support each other.

The hospital offers great support – like a good bra! Patients get a blood test for pregnancy as part of their presurgical testing, but if the test needs to be repeated the morning of surgery, we can get it done and have the results back in minutes. If a patient tells me she smoked weed before she came in for surgery, the anesthesiologist is on hand to decide whether or not it’s safe to have surgery. There is ample staff, and they will sleep over in bad weather if necessary. The hospital never closes; in the event of a power failure, they have generators.

Dr. E in the OR.

Dr. E. in the OR.

Although complications are rare, surgicenters must have a plan in place to transfer patients to a hospital in the event of unanticipated medical complications. It’s comforting to me to know that the hospital’s emergency room is just an elevator ride away. I think of it like homeowner’s insurance. You hope there’s no emergency, like a fire or a flood, but if there is, you’re glad you have protection.

While some surgicenters might argue that they are cleaner than a hospital, it ain’t necessarily so. The hospital undergoes regular inspections and is held to strict standards by state regulators.

Breast augmentation surgery does not require an overnight stay; patients go from the short-procedure unit to the OR to the recovery room to the post-op lounge – all on the same floor. Across the country, infection occurs in less than 1 percent of breast augmentation patients. In the more than 5,000 women I’ve taken care of, only 2 have developed an infection, and 1 of those was operated on in a surgicenter earlier in my career.

My patients confirm my feelings about Nazareth Hospital. We conduct a survey post-op in which the patients get a chance to evaluate the hospital staff. They consistently rate them 10 out of 10. Likewise, a number of patients have been nurses who are employed at other hospitals; they routinely comment that their experience exceeded their expectations.

One woman wrote, I’ve had surgery at other hospitals and have never quite received the care, thoughtfulness and cooperation as I did from the members of your staff. Several people were there to help me, and someone was constantly at my side asking if I needed or wanted anything. They strived to keep me as comfortable and happy as they could. I’m sure their job sometimes goes unrecognized by others, but I couldn’t let this experience go by without giving recognition where it is due. Thank you again for all your support.”

 

Will my breast implants freeze up in the cold?

With the ground blanketed in snow and the thermometer hovering around 18 degrees Fahrenheit, it seems the right time to consider what happens to breast implants in the cold.

Imagine that a saline implant and a silicone gel implant were just chillin’ on your lawn. At today’s balmy 18 degrees, the saline implant would be frozen like an ice cube. (Outside of the body, a saline implant would freeze at about 28 degrees Fahrenheit.) The silicone gel implant would still be soft; it won’t ice up until the thermometer dips to 170 below zero.

Screen shot 2014-01-03 at 2.36.37 PMWhen implants are part of your body, your core body temperature of 98.6 will keep them warm. One blogger conjectured, “Even if theoretically a girl was like a reptile or something and had no body heat, the freezing point of the material used in the implants would be pretty low.” In other words, you would die of hypothermia – dangerously low body temperature – long before your implants froze.

We wonder if any of the 52 passengers who were stranded for a week on a Russian research ship in the Antarctic had breast implants. If they did, they didn’t need to worry about them freezing.

If you swim in a cold pool or skate at an ice rink, your implants could cool to slightly below your body temperature, and they might feel cool to the touch. Likewise, if you hang out in a hot tub or spend the day sunbathing at the beach, your implants might feel warm to the touch. In general, implants change temperature very slowly, and implants that are placed behind the pectoral muscle are less susceptible to temperature changes.

We don’t agree with the woman on Yahoo who answered the question: Do breast implants freeze up out in the cold? With “yes, which is why girls sneak off to the bathroom immediately after those snowmobiling trips to allow for some thawing time.”  We suspect that the girls just need to go to bathroom – and put on lip gloss.

FYI: According to John Castellani of the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, “The record for the lowest body temperature at which an adult has been known to survive is 56.7 degrees F, which occurred after the person was submerged in cold, icy water for quite some time.”

Is it normal for my breasts to be a little different in size?

By Dr. Ted

I got a private Facebook message today from a young teen concerned that one of her breasts was bigger than the other. She was wondering what she should do.

The short answer? I told her not to worry, to give it time. It’s not uncommon for breasts to develop unevenly during puberty, but by the time they stop growing they usually are more even. I also told her that there’s no such thing as perfectly identical breasts; most women have breasts that are slightly different sizes.

Screen shot 2013-11-16 at 5.38.19 PMThe long answer: In puberty, breast development can start first on one side or on both sides at the same time. It takes about 3-5 years for the glandular tissue to fully develop and for breasts to reach their full adult size. On average, most women are finished growing by age 18, although some might continue to grow into their early 20s.

That’s about the time that the majority of women come into my office to find out about cosmetic breast surgery. They are still under the impression that breasts are supposed to be identical. Actress Jennifer Lawrence (star of The Hunger Games) made headlines earlier this year when she told Jimmy Kimmel that her breasts were uneven.

As one of my staff members said when she was interviewed for our recently released book, The Scoop on Breasts: A Plastic Surgeon Busts the Myths, “Before I started to work here, I had seen very few breasts. I didn’t have any sisters. We didn’t get undressed in front of each other in gym class; we didn’t talk about our breasts or look at each other’s. I think this is the case for most women.”

Time after time, when a woman comes in for a consultation and looks at dozens of before and after photos, she is relieved to find out that she isn’t the only one with breasts of different sizes.

Few women have identical breasts: Breasts are sisters, not twins. The difference might be slight or more obvious. Chances are one of their feet is slightly larger than the other one, too. That’s because the two sides of the body are not perfectly matched mirror images. They are asymmetrical.

Nipple position, chest diameter, the amount of breast tissue, and the location of the breast on the chest wall all contribute to the appearance of the breasts. When one breast hangs a little lower than the other, it might give the illusion of being bigger. It might also look bigger when there is a longer distance from the nipple to the inframammary fold (the crease beneath the breast). With all these variables, it is no surprise that no one has identical twins.

While some women are bothered by a size difference that’s as small as a few tablespoons, others don’t notice or don’t care. Some women address their concern by adding padding – or a “chicken cutlet” – to one cup of their bra; others opt to have cosmetic surgery.

If there’s a difference in the volume of the breasts, I can make them closer in size by enlarging them with implants of different sizes, augmenting the smaller breast, or reducing the bigger breast. I have operated on women whose breasts varied by as much as two-cup sizes, and I was able to make a significant improvement. You can see before and after photos here. While I cannot transform sisters into twins, I can make them look like sisters from the same family.

 

After surgery, do I have to sleep on my back?

By Dr. Ted
The information below is what I tell my patients to do and to expect after breast augmentation surgery: Each doctor has his or her specific postoperative protocol, and it might vary greatly from what you read here. It’s imperative that you follow your doctor’s instructions.

There’s a myth that after breast augmentation surgery, you’ll need to sleep on your back for a week or longer. Many of my patients believe it, and they are worried that they won’t be able to get to sleep, because they normally lie on their side or their stomach.

They are not alone. According to the Better Sleep Council, fewer than 15 percent of people prefer to sleep on their back.

Screen shot 2013-08-28 at 3.10.12 PMLet’s bust this myth: You don’t have to sleep on your back after breast augmentation surgery. You don’t have to stay up all night to make sure you don’t doze off and turn over onto your stomach. You can sleep any way you want.

The implants won’t pop if you sleep on them; they are extremely durable and can withstand a lot of weight. In fact, Allergan, an implant manufacturer, tests its implants by exerting 55 pounds of force on them repeatedly, up to 6.5 million times. (That would be equivalent to sleeping on your stomach for the next 17,808 years.)

Just as your contact lens can’t slip behind your eye, your breast implants can’t disappear into your body. They are carefully positioned in a space (a pocket) behind the pectoral muscle. Just like contact lenses, the implants can’t go anywhere because they bounded by muscle and strong tissues. The normal movement in the pocket won’t disrupt your healing.

I instruct my patients to wear a sports bra for one week after their surgery, and they sometimes think that the bra’s purpose is to keep their implants in place. That’s not true. As stated above, the implants aren’t going anywhere!

The bra simply gives the bottom of the breast and the incision a little more support to counteract gravity as you sit, stand and walk around during the day. When you wear a bra, there is less pressure on the incision, which can make you feel more comfortable. The incision, which is made in the crease beneath the breast, won’t pop open, either. It’s closed by three layers of dissolvable stitches, which provide strength to the incision for months until it is completely healed.

Screen shot 2013-08-28 at 3.04.59 PMThe only factor limiting your sleep position is comfort. Most women tell me that they are fully comfortable sleeping on their stomach in about three weeks on average. They are comfortable sleeping on their side much sooner.

Sweet dreams.

 

I’m getting married next year. When should I schedule my breast augmentation surgery?


Dear Dr. Eisenberg,
I got married in May 2008, and as I reflect back on old photos, I cannot imagine the old self-conscious, flat-chested me wearing my strapless, sweetheart neckline gown. My dress was perfect and I couldn’t have worn it without your work. I can’t thank you enough for giving me the chance to choose any gown I wanted for my wedding day.” – Angela

Like Angela, many women come in for a breast augmentation consultation before their wedding: They want to be able to wear the dress of their dreams on wedding day and not be limited because of their cup size. They’ve read sites like TheKnot.com’s Neckline Glossary, which explains that Strapless is bad for “smaller chested women” and Sweetheart is bad for “the décolletage-impaired.” What should they buy? The Jewel (“a t-shirt neckline that sits at the base of the throat”) or the Sabrina (“cut straight across so less of the décolletage shows”), the site suggests.

wedding-dress-necklines-590ac120110It’s not surprising that my patients include a lot of brides-to-be, who want to go bigger before their big day. In the United States in 2012, the average age for women to marry was 27. About half of my patients are in their early 20s; the rest are in their 30s and are coming to me post-childbirth to recapture what they lost after pregnancy.

Often, these prospective brides have been considering breast enhancement surgery for years, and their wedding provides the impetus. They are no different from the vast majority of my patients, who tell me they want to look proportional and have their clothes fit better.

After all, what clothing is more important than a wedding gown? Women know that on their wedding day, all eyes will be focused on them and more pictures will be taken than on any other single day of their life. And it won’t hurt to look great in a bikini on their honeymoon, either.

PLANNING AHEAD
While you can get your hair and makeup done the morning of your wedding, you need to plan way ahead for cosmetic breast surgery.

Wedding Planning Calendars tell you when to reserve the date, pick your bridal party, meet with the caterer, and order your gown (usually 8-10 months out.) The calendars don’t tell you when to schedule your breast augmentation surgery, so I will!

Ideally, you should pencil in “Have cosmetic breast surgery” in the “12 Months Before” category on your calendar. That way, you’ll be ready for your wedding gown-shopping trip about two months later. You’ll need that much time to heal in order to get a true fit on your gown.

That’s because when implants – especially saline – are placed under the pectoral muscle, the muscle presses the implant flat, as your hand would compress a sponge ball or a balloon, and the implant needs a place to go. It moves toward the area of least resistance – the collarbone and the armpit – which is why the implants are up high right after surgery. They begin to settle down in about 6-8 weeks.

Having your surgery a year before your wedding is ideal, but if you can’t plan that far ahead, you could schedule surgery anywhere up to about four months before the wedding. That way, you’ll be able to get your gown’s bodice adjusted at the fitting, which is usually done about 6-8 weeks before the ceremony. This will also give you plenty of time to heal before your honeymoon, so you’ll be ready for swimming and other activities.

Looking Your Best
In 1991, I was doing reconstructive surgery, I treated a patient who had lost an eye to cancer when she was a child. She wore eye patches for years to conceal the damage caused by the radiation treatment. Her wedding was approaching, and she wanted to walk down the aisle – and be photographed – with two eyes. In a series of three procedures, I used a new technique to implant an artificial eye prosthesis in her contracted eye socket. I was a guest at the wedding and was asked to make a toast. It was an honor.

 

 

 

 

 

Will my implants boil, melt, or keep me afloat?

By Joyce
photo
Summer officially arrives this Friday, June 21, which means it’s time to tan, swim, dive, sunbathe and unveil your new bikini. If you are also unveiling a new set of ta-tas, it’s time to get answers to some pressing questions like these:

When can I go tanning?
You can start working on your tan as soon as three weeks after surgery, but be sure to protect your incisions with sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Ultraviolet light, whether from the tanning bed or the sun at the beach, can make a scar redder for a longer period of time.

Will my implants cook in a tanning bed?
If you want to get a tan before you head to the beach, you can go to a tanning salon without worry. Tanning salons use ultraviolet rays, which don’t cook anything. They don’t use microwaves, even though some people think they do. This was proved by a 2005 episode of MythBusters when the crew placed two raw chickens in a tanning bed for one hour. The skin got a little darker, but the chickens were still raw inside.

Will my breast implants keep me afloat in the ocean?
Screen shot 2013-06-19 at 2.56.48 PM
Don’t count on it. Here’s why: Most people are neutrally buoyant, which means they don’t float up or down; they hover. More fat makes you float; more muscle makes you sink. It is gravity that eventually pulls you down.

Saline implants are filled with salt water in about the same density as the ocean water you are swimming in, so they are neutrally buoyant, too. You will float more easily in the ocean than in a pool because salt water is heavier than fresh water, but the same basic principles apply.

Silicone gel implants are slightly denser than water. Although they won’t make you sink, you might have to doggie paddle just a little bit harder. That’s why it is recommended that after getting silicone gel implants, a scuba diver does a checkout dive to see if she needs to adjust her dive weights.

Will scuba diving harm my breast implants?
A research team at Duke University Medical Center placed silicone gel and saline implants in a hyperbaric chamber to simulate the pressure experienced by scuba divers at various depths. When a diver is underwater, the increased pressure causes nitrogen, a component of the air we breathe, to build up in the blood and body tissues. If a diver surfaces too quickly, the nitrogen gas can form dangerous bubbles, similar to the bubbles you see when you first open a bottle of soda.

The moon jelly, a species of jellyfish, is round, translucent and gelatinous. That’s why, when it washes ashore, it’s easily mistaken for a silicone breast implant.

The moon jelly, a species of jellyfish, is round, translucent and gelatinous. That’s why, when it washes ashore, it’s easily mistaken for a silicone breast implant.

So what happened to the breast implants? The medical experts at DAN, the Divers Alert Network, summarized the findings on their website: “The bubbles that formed in the implants led to a small volume increase, which is not likely to damage the implants or surrounding tissues. If gas bubbles do form in the implant, they resolve over time.” No implants were harmed in the study.

Do breast implants melt in a sauna or in the sun?
Implants have a silicone shell, which would melt at temperatures greater than 392 degrees Fahrenheit. A conventional sauna is typically between 150 and 190 degrees. Unless you are sunbathing on the sun, you’ll be fine. If you are really worried, expose them only at dawn and dusk.

Can my implants boil in a hot tub?
Your implants are inside of your body, and you would have to boil the outside of your body before the inside boiled. The average hot tub temperature of 102 degrees Fahrenheit isn’t hot enough to do that.

Nuff said. Have a great summer. And if you find some men staring at your cleavage, remind them of what Jerry Seinfeld had to say: “Looking at cleavage is like looking at the sun. You can’t stare at it. It’s too risky. You get a sense of it and then you look away.”

 

How long does the drain stay in after breast augmentation surgery?

By Dr. Ted

I never use a drain after breast augmentation surgery. I don’t believe that it’s necessary.

A drain is inserted to remove blood or serous fluid (the body’s thin watery fluid) that can accumulate around a surgical site. The drain is a round tube that resembles a turkey baster. The smaller end is placed inside the body, the bulbous end sticks out of the body. When the bulb is compressed, it creates a suction action and the fluid is removed.

"I love Thanksgiving turkey. It's the only time in Los Angeles that you see natural breasts." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

“I love Thanksgiving turkey. It’s the only time in Los Angeles that you see natural breasts.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

The body can absorb up to about 50 ccs in a 24-hour period, so a drain is needed only if there will be more fluid buildup. During a breast augmentation, my patients consistently lose no more than a teaspoon (about 5 ccs) of blood. After surgery, there is very little fluid accumulation around the implants, so there’s no need for a drain. Likewise, I don’t use drains after breast lift surgery.

With no drains and no stitches on the outside to manage or remove, my patients report that their post-op care is easy. They go home with a Steri-Strip band-aid over their incision. All they have to do is apply ointment on top of the strip each day.

In the United States, there is general agreement among plastic surgeons that drains aren’t needed for these two procedures, although some surgeons believe otherwise. Many European plastic surgeons commonly use drains.

On the other hand, drains are always used for breast reconstruction surgery and frequently used after a breast reduction. In a breast reduction, a large amount of tissue is removed. Flaps of tissue with large surface areas ooze and need to be drained. I remove the drain the next morning following surgery. After breast reconstruction, the drain might stay in place for about a week. It’s usually removed when the drainage is less than 50 ccs in a 24-hour period.

A drain can help prevent a hematoma (large collection of blood) or a seroma (a large collection of fluid). In these situations, the advantages of the drain outweigh the possibility of the drain causing an infection by allowing bacteria from the skin to enter the your body.