Original Article

Factors that Affect Drain Indwelling Time after Breast Cancer Surgery


  • Ömer Uslukaya
  • Ahmet Türkoğlu
  • Metehan Gümüş
  • Zübeyir Bozdağ
  • Ahmet Yılmaz
  • Hatice Gümüş
  • Şeyhmus Kaya
  • Mesut Gül

Received Date: 30.03.2016 Accepted Date: 18.04.2016 Eur J Breast Health 2016;12(3):102-106


The most common procedure to prevent seroma formation, a common complication after breast and axillary surgery, is to use prophylactic surgical drains. Ongoing discussions continue regarding the ideal time for removing drains after surgical procedures. In this study, we aimed to investigate factors that affect drain indwelling time (DIT).

Materials and Methods:

From 2014 to 2015, a total of 91 consecutive patients with breast cancer were included in the study. The demographic characteristics of the patients, treatment methods, histopathologic features of the tumor, size of removed breast tissue (BS), tumor size (TS), number of totally removed lymph nodes (TLN), and metastatic lymph nodes (MLN), whether they had neoadjuvant chemotherapy, and the DIT were retrospectively recorded from the hospital database.


The mean age of the patients was 48.9 years, and the mean DIT was 4.8 days. The mean size of breast removed was 17.3 cm and tumor size was 4.7 cm, and the mean number of metastatic lymph nodes was 3.3, and mean total number of lymph nodes was 14.1. Patients who had neoadjuvant chemotherahpy had longer DIT. There was a positive correlation between the BS, TS, TLN, MLN, length of hospital stay, and DIT. Linear regresion analysis revealed that the BS, TLN, and history of neoadjuvant chemotherahpy were independent risk factors for DIT.


DIT primarily depends on BS, TLN, and history of neoadjuvant chemotherahpy. A policy for the management of removing drains to prevent seroma formation should thus be individualized.

Keywords: Breast cancer, mastectomies, drainage, suction