Medical Specialty >> Surgery

Doctors Lounge - Surgery Answers

Back to Surgery Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 8/19/2017.

Forum Name: Surgery Topics

Question: post surgery drainage - Fri Jun 24, 2005 3:45 pm

My brother had 2 lymph nodes removed under the right arm 9 days ago. He has had drainage from the wound to the point where it soaks through his undershirt, shirt and soaks down to his pant waistband. Although he does not complain of fever or feeling sick, he is mentally retarded and does not always articulate what he is feeling. He does not have a temperature, but I can't help but worry. His doctor is out of town and the replacement doctor prescribed antibiotics. My brother is large, weighing about 300 pounds and is 5' 10". Is this normal to have drainage to this extent 9 days after surgery?
 Theresa Jones, RN - Sat Jun 25, 2005 3:52 am

User avatar Hi Bhofer58,
The amount of drainage that you describe is an abnormally large amount to expect nine days post operatively. I would suggest an evaluation.
 Madd - Wed Jul 20, 2005 3:39 am

I had a sentinel lymph node biopsy on my left groin area June 16th. 5 nodes were removed. The incision site develpoed a seroma over the next week and was drained June 29th, and then a Jackson-Pratt drain placed the next day. The site continued to output from 200 to 450cc per day for the next week. The site was reopened July 6th and has been packed with gause two times daily since. When the packing is removed the fluid quickly accumulates and needs to be removed before the new packing is applied. The surgeon I have been seeing says that the point of all of this is for it to scar over. SInce this has been a continuing issue I am looking for some alternatives. Any ideas or experience dealing with this?
 Theresa Jones, RN - Wed Jul 20, 2005 4:43 am

User avatar Hi Madd,
The purpose for wound packing is so the area heals from the inside out. If closure was attempted it would not heal. Can you describe what the drainage looks like? The amount you have described is quite a significantly large amount since you are a month post- op. Has an infection been ruled out?
 Madd - Wed Jul 20, 2005 2:07 pm

Thanks for your reply RNTDJ,
The fluid is lymph, clear and somewhat yellow. It is coming from a lymph vessel of some sort. I am sure the amount is now less, but can't really monitor the output now that there is no JP drain. The wound was checked the other day by the wound care nurse in my surgeon's office. She said it was doing well and she could see new tissue formation. I am mostly frustrated and looking for a quicker fix to stop this leaker. I have to wear a maxi-pad on top of the bandage and in the crease between my scrotum and leg to catch the fluids once the dressing has been saturated. The wound is 5.5cm by 1.5cm and about 3cm deep at the deepest point.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us