No drains in reduction mammaplasty – a systematic review

A. Dušková, O. Měšťák, M. Molitor

Department of Plastic Surgery, 1st Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and University Hospital Bulovka, Prague, Czech Republic


Breast reduction mammaplasty is the only effective therapeutic intervention for patients with symptomatic breast hypertrophy. In this procedure, closed suction drains have become a standard of care, while the literature supporting use of drains is lacking. In fact, with emerging data we found out that drains might not be so necessary. This review aimed to systematically compare the number of complications in drained and undrained breasts and to evaluate the safety of omitting drains in reduction mammaplasty in clinical practice. A systematic review of literature was conducted identifying all studies on drainage in reduction mammaplasty. The analysed databases revealed 13 eligible studies to be included in this review. There were 308 drained breasts and 859 undrained breasts in total in patients from 16 to 73 years of age. The resected tissue weight per side fluctuated from 108 to 1,296 grams. In total, there was only 2.4% incidence of haematoma complications in undrained breasts and 3.9% in drained breasts. Closed suction drains are still being routinely used in reduction mammaplasty, although aborting drain use is proven to be not only safe, but advantageous. The clear benefit is increased patient comfort, shortened hospital stay, decreased cost of the procedure and nurse care, and decreased rate of complications.

Key words

breast reduction – mammaplasty – drains – preoperative complication – surgical haemorrhage

Dušková A, Měšťák O, Molitor M. No drains in reduction mammaplasty – a systematic review. Acta Chir Plast 2024; 66 (1): 6–9. doi: 10.48095/ccachp20246

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