Drains! A patients best from post op.
Most patients having breast surgery and certainly double mastectomys will have drains post op. These drains go into the surgical site and drain off any fluid to prevent seromas (pockets of fluid) developing. This then comes out a thin tube and into a drain. I had my drains in for 2 weeks which is quite normal, some patients have them in for longer.
- Unfortunately hospitals don’t routinely supply drain bags to patients and therefore you have to carry these around yourself.
- I saw my sister and various other patients during my times in hospital use plastic bags, pillow cases, all sorts of things. This meant my sister didn’t leave the house for a few weeks which I think is paramount for a speedy recovery.
So I decided I would make drain bags readily available to everyone who has this surgery donating a percentage of proceeds to the breast cancer prevention charity genesis . Genesis is an amazing charity that focuses on the prediction and prevention of breast cancer and is based at wythenshawe hospital where I had my op. If organisations such as Genesis didn’t carry out this important research I may not have been able to have my risk reducing surgery and would probably go on to get Breast Cancer.
Having the drains in little bags I could carry was invaluable to me, not only do you/friends/carers not have to look at them all day, you can potter around doing things without having to carry them. These are things such as making toast, brushing teeth, and doing your physio exercises (which start from day 1.) I had my drains in for 2 weeks which is a long time to not have the use of your hands!
- This lady is 6 days post op, she kindly sent me the photo to illustrate how useful the drain dollies are.
Because the drains are stitched into your body you are naturally very careful with them. The bags provide a very safe secure place for them with ease of use. Which lady doesn’t have experience with a handbag?! The best bit is you can shove your mobile phone and medication in there too!!
Here are some more photos of ladies using their drain dollies out and about.
“My 2 Drain dollie bags have made such a difference to my recovery from risk reducing mastectomies 8 days ago. I had 4 drains – 2 each side, and it would have been impossible to mobilise in hospital and get around now I’m home with out them . They have stooped me snagging my drain tubes and dropping my drain bottles – and kept the bottles hidden from view – so have actually even felt confident to go out in public now Im home . The bags are beautifully made and will make stylish tote bags once my drains are out tomorrow ! The fact these raise money for the charity Genesis , which is working towards preventing breast cancer will mean a lot to anyone buying them Well done Charley, you’re a genius !”
“These Drain dollies bags are absolutely amazing, such a fantastic idea, no more struggling with your drains. Wished I had these when I’d had my surgery. I’ve just had a dressing pump put on, so I just got a bag, they are fantastic love it, so many people asked where I got it from & what a fantastic idea, thank you so much Charley xx”
When I went in for my surgery I searched high and low for drain bags and found nothing. There are many canvas bags on the market but I couldn’t find anything the right size with the correct strap length to fit the job. The strap length is critical because you are in pain and don’t have much movement in your arms initially, a shorter strap would mean raises your whole arm to put the drain in- ouch!
I want women to be able to access the bags easily and feel prepared for the surgery. The softness of the bag is comforting which is what patients need just after surgery. The drain dollies make having drains very easy to live with, and a nice bag afterwards too 🙂
Some of the bags are plain with others being a bit louder there is something for everyone. I’m so happy to be able to help other women that are going through the same thing I have. Just being able to nip out for a coffee with a friend whilst still having drains can make such a difference to somebody’s recovery . Staying in doors for 2 weeks is no good, a stretch of the legs and some fresh air is fantastic. Drain dollies allow women to do this without the need to feel self conscious in any way.
Drain dollies are £6 with 10% of each bag going straight towards Genesis. Drain Dollies can be purchased directly from the website
The bags will soon be available to purchase on the Genesis website. To read about Genesis and the fantastic research they carry out please visit Genesis
Read more about Drain Dollies in Living Edge magazine
Once your drains are taken out you then have a nice little bag, I have given a few to friends children and they absolutely love them!
When my drains were taken out I felt naked! After carrying them around everywhere with me for two weeks it was a strange feeling to be without them!