Drainage after Modified Radical Mastectomy – A Methodological Mini-Review

  • Stoyanov G
  • Tsocheva D
  • Marinova K
  • et al.
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Breast cancer is a socially relevant group of malignant conditions of the mammary gland, affecting both males and females. Most commonly the surgical approach of choice is a modified radical mastectomy (MRM), due to it allowing for both the removal of the main tumor mass and adjacent glandular tissue, which are suspected of infiltration and multifocality of the process, and a sentinel axillary lymph node removal. Most common post-surgical complications following MRM are the formation of a hematoma, the infection of the surgical wound and the formation of a seroma. These post-surgical complications can, at least in part, be attributed to the drainage of the surgical wound. However, the lack of modern and official guidelines provides an ample scope for innovation, but also leads to a need for a randomized comparison of the results. We compared different approaches to wound drainage after MRM, reviewed based on the armamentarium, number of drains, location, type of drainage system, timing of drain removal and no drainage alternatives. Currently, based on the general results, scientific and comparative discussions, seemingly the most affordable methodology with the best patient outcome, with regards to hospital stay and post-operative complications, is the placement of one medial to lateral (pectoro-axillary) drain with low negative pressure. Ideally, the drain should be removed on the second or third postoperative day or when the amount of drained fluid in the last 24 hours reaches below 50 milliliters.




Stoyanov, G. S., Tsocheva, D., Marinova, K., Dobrev, E., & Nenkov, R. (2017). Drainage after Modified Radical Mastectomy – A Methodological Mini-Review. Cureus. https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.1454

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