Closed suction drainage versus closed simple drainage in the management of modified radical mastectomy wounds

  • ER Ezeome
  • CA Adebamowo


Objective: To compare the outcome of modified radical mastectomy wounds managed by closed wound drainage with suction and without suction. Methods: A prospective randomized trial was conducted at the University College Hospital Ibadan and University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Enugu, Nigeria. Fifty women who required modified radical mastectomy for breast cancer were randomized to have closed suction wound drainage (26 patients) and closed wound drainage without suction ( 24 patients). Results: There was no significant difference in the intra operative and post operative variables. Suction drainage drained less volume of fluid and stayed shorter in the wound but the differences were not significant. There was no difference in the length of hospital stay, time to stitch removal and number of dressing changes. More haematoma and wound infection occurred in the simple drain group while more seroma occurred in the suction drain group but these were not significant. The suction drain was more difficult to manage and the cost was fifteen times higher than the simple drainage system. Conclusion: Closed simple drains are not inferior to suction drains in mastectomy wounds and when cost and simplicity of post op care are considered, they should be preferred over suction drains.

South African Medical Journal Vol. 98 (9) 2008: pp. 712-715

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eISSN: 0256-95749
print ISSN: 2078-5135