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HealthInfo Canterbury

Caring for your drain at home after surgery

This information is to help you care for your drain when you go home.

Suction

Daily checks

Do the following checks once a day at roughly the same time each day.

If you're concerned about the amount draining, contact the correct department or ward for your procedure. You'll find contact details at the bottom of this page.

Issues you should seek help for

No-suction

Leaking around the drain site

Check if your bottle is full and has lost suction. If it has, it will look like the picture labelled "no suction".

The drain falls out

Drains are held in place by stitches. If your drain falls out, cover the drain site with a dry dressing or clean cloth.

Signs of infection at the drain site

These are:

Who to contact if you have concerns about your drain

General Surgery

At any time (including weekends and public holidays):

Christchurch Hospital

Phone (03) 364‑0640

Ask the operator to be put through to the ward you were in after surgery.

People whose breast surgery was done by a plastic surgeon

From 8 am to 4.30 pm (Monday to Saturday, including public holidays):

Plastic Surgery Outpatients Department, Christchurch Hospital

Phone (03) 364‑0471

Outside these hours:

Ward 20, Christchurch Hospital

Phone (03) 378‑6679

Ask to speak to the nurse in charge for advice about any of your concerns.

People whose breast surgery was done by a general surgeon

From 8 am to 4 pm Monday to Thursday and 8 am to 12 noon Friday:

Breast care nurses, Christchurch Hospital

Phone (03) 364‑1804

If you can't contact a breast care nurse and it's an urgent issue, or it's outside their working hours, contact:

Ward 20, Christchurch Hospital

Phone (03) 378‑6679

Ask to speak to the nurse in charge for advice about any of your concerns.

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by Canterbury DHB Plastic Surgery Department. Last reviewed November 2020.

Sources

Page reference: 86859

Review key: HIBRC-85838