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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Gynecomastia Surgery-Why Are Suction Drains Used

Gynecomastia Surgery and the Purpose of Suction Drains

San Jose, California gynecomastia patients frequently ask Miguel Delgado, M.D. if it is necessary to have drains. He explains to his patients that it is up to the surgeon; some do, and some don’t but he most definitely does! After twenty-five years of experience, Dr. Delgado is adamant about the advantage of drains.

Dr. Delgado says that drains help with the healing because when he does the average gynecomastia case, he is aggressive and uses a wide exposure approach which creates a large open space. Fluid generally will ooze into this “dead space” which without a drain may need to be aspirated every 4 or 5 days. Even though it is easy to do, it is very inconvenient for the patient. By placing drains in the pocket of space, it will collapse the space, evacuate the fluid and put negative pressure on the cavity that helps it to close down. In addition to the drains,  Miguel Delgado, M.D. has his patients wear a compression vest for a period of six weeks to aid in healing.

Early in his career,  discovered Miguel Delgado, M.D. of patients that he did not place drains in, 10% of them got an accumulation of fluid in the “dead” space.  This fluid, which is yellow in color, is referred to as a seroma. Having to aspirate every 4 to 5 days prolonged the healing time. Miguel Delgado, M.D.  explains further that by having drains he can monitor how the healing is going, by the thickness, color and speed that the fluid comes out.

Today, Dr. Delgado’s seroma rate is near zero, but this did not come without trade-offs. The incision from the drain leaves a tiny, but noticeable scar, which, in fact can be more noticeable than the incision around the areola (that is almost invisible after healing).

Always listening to his patients, Miguel Delgado, M.D.  found that he could put the tiny incision for the drains high up in the back of the armpit. Male breast reduction patients now have a hard time finding the scar, so it has now become a non-issue.
Tiny Scar from Drain After Gynecomastia Surgery
The drain are placed high in the arm pit now

 Many of Dr. Delgado’s patients come from out of state and even out of the country, and this method for faster healing will allow them to return home much sooner.

If male breasts are an issue for you, you are invited to call (415 898-4161) or email ( to ask questions or schedule a consultation.