Aproximately How Long Does It Take For Draining To Stop After Lymph Node Removal

Question

Asked by michele

Aproximately How Long Does It Take For Draining To Stop After Lymph Node Removal

I had surgery on April 4th and the dr. removed a dozen lymph nodes, well 2-1/2 months later, i'm still going to the doctor 2x a week to get drained. She (dr) finally decided to put another drain tube in next week and leave it in for a few weeks. This doesnt sound normal as far as the length of time i have been draining. Can anyone answer this, i know everyone is different as far as surgery, healing etc. but i'd like to know if there may be something wrong as to why i continue to drain so much?

Michele

Answer

I've never had a dr add a drain, but I have had several drains through-out my 7 breast surgeries. Some drains were removed after a few days, some drains I had in for 2 weeks or so but never more than that and I had 16 nodes removed. I was always told that they wanted no more than 30cc's (?) come out per day per tube. I also learned from personal experience that having a fever will make you drain more - so track your temperature through-out the day. If you have a fever or you're sweating it out, your fluid out-put will be higher.

I would ask the dr what (s)he is expecting and if they are concerned about infection. Ask about antibiotics. Also check and see if your arm is swelling to the point that you have a "wing" - your under arm hanging and sagging low like filled with fluid. You can request going to physical therapy to learn how to get that fluid out of your arm and move back through your system so that you can control your lymphedema - you can also get fitted for a compression garmet.

It does sound a little weird to me, but getting rid of excess fluid is important, because it removes infection from you body - but just as it drains, it can also work in reverse and infection can travel upwards - so make sure that the drain's suction is tight and working and also work on squeezing all tissue clots through so the tube doesn't get stopped up.

Good luck getting some answers from your dr and working on getting your drains removed!

Angi