What All You Need to Know About Surgical Drains?

Surgical drain is the small plastic tube, which is mostly used after the operation. It’s put inside you at time of surgery by your doctor and may stick out of the body till it gets removed, generally some days later. This connects to the small plastic bag, which collects fluid and air that gets drained away where you had your operation. Not all the operations need surgical drains to fit in: your doctor may advise you in case if it is essential.


The surgical drains are generally used in many different kinds of surgery. Normally speaking, intention is decompressing and draining fluid and air from an area of surgery. The examples include:

  • Prevent any accumulation of air.
  • Characterize fluid.
  • Prevent accumulation of fluid

Types of Drain Used

There are many different kinds of drains used in the practice; some will be commercially available & some are made from the catheters and tubing present in most of the hospitals. Materials used for the drains include silicone, latex, polyvinyl chloride and polyethylene. Drain material decides which of many methods must get used to sterilize every kind of drain. The type of material will affect the wound healing as tissue reactions to various materials vary. The materials that cause reaction are the red rubber catheters & latex; one that causes least reaction is the polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene, as well as silastic tubing.

Drains can be classified by different systems: closed or open and active or passive. The passive drains generally rely on the gravity, movement of body, overflow to fluid or gas; pressure differentials, active drains make use of intermittent and continuous negative pressure for pulling fluid and gas from the wound and body cavity.