Open a PDF version to print this topic

HealthInfo Canterbury

Caring for your drain at home after surgery

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


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


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 you should 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 seven days a week:

Plastics Outpatient Department

Christchurch Hospital

Phone (03) 364‑0471

After 4.30 pm, including weekends and public holidays:

Ward 20

Christchurch Hospital

Phone (03) 364‑9200

Please speak with 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 4.30 pm Monday to Friday:

Breast care nurses (BCN)

Christchurch Hospital

Phone (03) 364‑1804

If you can't contact the BCN and this is an urgent issue, or it's after 4.30 pm, a weekend or a public holiday, please contact:

Ward 16 SARA co-ordinator

Christchurch Hospital

Phone 03 378‑6333

Ask the operator to be put through to the Ward 16 SARA co-ordinator.

On the next page: More information about breast reconstruction

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by clinical director, General Surgery. Last reviewed April 2018.


Page reference: 86859

Review key: HIBRC-85838