How come the doctors never mention drains after surgery?

Or if they do mention them- it’s in passing. Like it’s no big deal. Well, it IS a big deal! Only because most people are unprepared for them. Where do I put them? How do I shower with them? And what? I have to have them for another 2 weeks??? Are you kidding me?  The receptionist at my surgeon’s office told me, “They are gonna be your best friends…” I asked her how long they are usually in for and she said much longer than you want them to be. So for those of you who don’t know- surgeons install these drains to help you heal, and you don’t have to have a mastectomy to have a drain installed. My friend Brent had this huge cyst removed from his neck and he had a drain.  You can have anywhere from 1-4 drains for a double mastectomy. I had 2 drains- 1 one on each side, in my arm pit area. Drains are 1/4″ diameter tubing that is about 20″ long and at the end of the tubing, they put a soft plastic bulb that collects and measures the “fluid”. Here is wikipedia’s description of a Jackson Pratt surgical drain In 2008 when I had my double mastectomy- there was no such thing as a drain scarf, drain pockets, or a shower shirt. You had to safety pin your drains to the shirt you were wearing and if you wanted to take a shower with them, you had to fashion a belt around your waist and safety pin the drains to that. All sorts of problems arose, not the least of which was accidentally pinning your drains to your pajama bottoms- and then when you pull down your pants to go the bathroom- yikes! I get a little woozy now thinking about the pain.  So.. the point of this post- is to advise you to safe yourself a little unnecessary pain and pre-plan what your going to do with your drains after surgery!

Jackson Pratt surgical drain image