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27.03.2020 | Letter to the Editor | Ausgabe 3/2020

Aesthetic Plastic Surgery 3/2020

A Simple Method for Quantitative Assessment of Suction Drains

Zeitschrift:
Aesthetic Plastic Surgery > Ausgabe 3/2020
Autoren:
Guido Paolini, Michail Sorotos, Guido Firmani, Fabio Santanelli di Pompeo
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Abstract

Suction drains are widely used in surgical practice, but a consensus is yet to be found around their use in plastic surgery. Nowadays, patients are frequently discharged from hospitals with drains still in place. Soft drains are easier to manage at home because of the reduced weight and size. The content can be disposed of when the container is full, but volume assessment is only possible when the reservoir is inflated. Evaluating the total drained volume alone is a flawed assessment method, as it might lead to erroneously decide whether a drain should be kept or removed. What we should use as a reference instead is the output quantity from the last 24 h. We can precisely determine the amount of collected material on a daily basis by closing the clip of the tubing, opening the exit valve to inflate the container, measuring and then emptying the container. However, this whole process can be complicated and put the sterile environment at risk of contamination, which is why it cannot be performed by the patient at home. We ask our patients to weigh the container daily using a kitchen scale and to write down the obtained values. When the patient returns for a postoperative checkup, they can report their measurements, thus making it easier for the surgeon to decide whether to remove the drain or not. We believe that this simple method can be safely implemented to track drains in the postoperative period after the patient is discharged.

Level of Evidence V

This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors www.​springer.​com/​00266.

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