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This might be a stupid question, but what is a drain?

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Not stupid. A drain is a tube the surgeon leaves in your abdomen to drain excess fluids after surgery, but most importantly is used to check for leaks from your new tummy.

Not every Dr. uses them, but I'm glad mine did if only to reassure me that I didn't have a leak. The barium test came later and this drain test gave me peace of mind immediately. It is not really painful (at least wasn't to me) just annoying. And when it is removed, it just feels odd, not painful.

There are several types of drains. Your Dr. could tell you which he/she might use when and if they even use one.

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Not stupid. A drain is a tube the surgeon leaves in your abdomen to drain excess fluids after surgery, but most importantly is used to check for leaks from your new tummy.

Not every Dr. uses them, but I'm glad mine did if only to reassure me that I didn't have a leak. The barium test came later and this drain test gave me peace of mind immediately. It is not really painful (at least wasn't to me) just annoying. And when it is removed, it just feels odd, not painful.

There are several types of drains. Your Dr. could tell you which he/she might use when and if they even use one.

Thanks for answering, I had asked some other questions and a drain was mentioned, and I was in limbo.

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I had a JP drain, and it defitiely did it's job of clearing excess Fluid. I had mine in for 6 days post-op and it was annoying, uncomfortable and to be honest a little gross. My surgery and recovery went perfect and I wasn't in much pain. SO since I had an easy time of it, if you were to ask me what the worst part of surgery was I probably WOULD say the drain. I was so happy when I went back and had it removed. My hubby had the same sugery, same surgeon and yep, a JP drain and he had his in for 10 days and it didn't seem to bother him much. lol. Go figure.

It certainly is worth enduring a little bit of pain to achieve the results you want. Oh and some drs. only use them while you are in the hospital and you don't have to go home with one. Just ask your dr. what they use and for how long.

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At the end of the tube is a an egg shaped ball that collects the Fluid. You have to empty it a few times a day. There is no pain involved. Just annoying. When I went out, I would put the bulb in my bra, and forget about it.

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Pretty much as everyone has said above. The most commonly used is the JP or Jackson Pratt drain. Below is a picture of it. When they do the surgery, they will irrigate everything inside the abdomen, most of that Fluid is suctioned back out, but some of it will remain and needs to drain. Also your body will produce some fluids as part of the inflammatory and healing process. The flat part of the drain has holes in it, the Fluid that has accumulated in the abdomen will enter through these holes, go down the tube and into the little egg shaped bulb. This bulb is squeezed when it is emptied, and will expand as it fills with fluid until it needs to be emptied again. The part of the drain that you will see outside of your body will be a couple of inches of the little round tubing and the egg shaped bulb. It might look scary, but don't be too intimidated by it. You won't really notice that it is there, and when it is removed it doesn't really hurt, it just feels weird.

i1.jpg

It's good to ask questions, everything is a lot less scary if you understand what is going on. :)

Kathy

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Oh - and how long will you have the drain? It kind of depends on your surgeon's preference and how much drainage you are having. I had mine in for about 48hrs after surgery but I have seen on here where some people had them for about a week.

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Oh - and how long will you have the drain? It kind of depends on your surgeon's preference and how much drainage you are having. I had mine in for about 48hrs after surgery but I have seen on here where some people had them for about a week.

Who takes the drain off?

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Usually a nurse, sometimes the doctor. The tube that will come out of your tummy is usually held in place with a stitch, they will clip the stitch and then just pull it out. It will freak you out, because it is pretty long but it doesn't hurt much coming out if it does at all. It is more of a weird feeling.

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Usually a nurse, sometimes the doctor. The tube that will come out of your tummy is usually held in place with a stitch, they will clip the stitch and then just pull it out. It will freak you out, because it is pretty long but it doesn't hurt much coming out if it does at all. It is more of a weird feeling.

thank you so much, very helpful

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I had a drain and they had me come in on Friday to take it out was going to Waite till Monday but I stop by the dr office so he took it out but it still is draining on the 4 by 4's I keep changing it is that ok ?

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My surgeon actually uses the drain to test for a leak post op and avoids the barium swallow. He tests the drainage for some enzyme found only in saliva so if it is present that means there is a leak. He does this test three times and if they are all negative, you are good to go!

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I stayed 1 night (mandatory) in the hospital. My drain was removed the day after surgery, as they were prepping me for discharge.

Tell you a little secret... ;) I was freaked out about the drain. I freak out about the small things - the "unknowns" (I like to be in control.) My lapband surgery in 2006 was my first surgery that I could remember (I had T&A when I was 2 y/o). What did I have the most anxiety about, out of everything? Getting the IV. I'd never had an IV before, that I could remember. The anesthesia, post-op pain, adjusting the way I eat - it all paled compared to the IV.

I've been through some really painful things, and have an above average pain tolerance. So I wasn't really afraid of the pain when it came to my drain, but I was afraid of the unknown. Never had a drain before. It just seemed like the creepiest thing in the world would be the feeling of having it pulled out. I read so many posts about how bad it hurt, or how someone passed out, how it was the worst thing ever. Normally when I see "worst pain ever" I attribute it to someone being dramatic, or having a low pain tolerance, but I was still nervous. I just couldn't even imagine what it was going to be like.

When mine was pulled out, I felt nothing. Seriously. I didn't even know she had pulled it out until she said "Ok it's out." I MAYBE felt something like a cotton ball dusting the surface of my skin. Biggest relief I've had in a long time.

Wish I could've read that once or twice before I had mine. ;)

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I had the drain for a week, I agree with you it didn't hurt when they took it out. I remember the Dr's helper said take a deep breathe, but it was out by the time I took that breathe, all I felt was a slight suction.

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