Evaluation of Complications of Short-term and Long-term Drainage Following Mastectomy with Removal of Axillary Lymph Nodes: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran.

2 Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran.

3 Research center for the prevention of non-communicable diseases and epidemiology, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran


Background: Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in Iran and round the globe. Seroma formation is the most common primary complication after mastectomy (partial/radical). Nowadays, drainage is used as a routine method to reduce seroma formation after mastectomy, although there is no consensus about the appropriate time to perform drainage after this surgery. This study evaluated the effects of short-term and long-term drainage after mastectomy along with removal of axillary lymph nodes. Methods: This randomized clinical trial was performed on 88 women who underwent mastectomy with ALND in hospitals in Yazd (were randomly divided into two groups). Suction drains were inserted for all patients at completion of surgery. The data collection tool was a researcher-made form based on variables. In the first group, the drain was removed 24 hours after surgery and the patients were discharged, but the second group was discharged with the drain in place after 24 hours and the drain was removed 5 days after surgery. Data were analyzed with SPSS18 using T-Test, Chi square, and Mann-Whitney U test. Results: The results showed that 28 (31.8%) participants had formed seroma, of whom 22 (50%) were in the 1-day drainage group and 6 (13.6%) were in the 5-day drainage group. There was a statistically significant correlation among seroma frequency, mean aspiration volume, mean number of aspirations, mean seroma volume in sonography one week after surgery, and mean seroma volume in sonography between the two groups three weeks after surgery (P<0.05). Conclusion: Based on the results, it can be concluded that long-term drainage reduces the risk of seroma formation after mastectomy with removal of axillary lymph nodes compared to short-term drainage. Complementary study be performed by considering other underlying factors such as comorbidities to obtain the best drain removal time in breast cancer patients.


Main Subjects

Volume 23, Issue 8
August 2022
Pages 2873-2878
  • Receive Date: 15 May 2022
  • Revise Date: 25 May 2022
  • Accept Date: 06 August 2022
  • First Publish Date: 06 August 2022