Advice for patients being discharged home with a drain following surgery to the breast and/or axilla

Following your surgery to the breast and/or under the arm (axilla), a wound drain may be inserted. A drain is used to prevent or minimise bruising or swelling caused by fluid collecting in the wound cavity. The drain(s) may be required to stay in for a period of between 3 and 7 days, depending on the amount of fluid drained over a 24 hour period.

A referral will be completed by the ward nurses when you are discharged home requesting daily visits by the District Nursing Team, starting the day after discharge. We are unable to book appointment times for these visits, but occasionally the nurse may phone you to advise of any delays. If the nurse does not arrive by mid afternoon, please contact your doctors surgery or ward you were discharged from for advice.