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Am I the only one?

LoLLo Posts: 694
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Am I the only one who DIDN'T have a drain after my fusion? It seems like pretty much everyone I hear from had one in their incision sites post op... I never had any in either the front or the back. Wonder why. Never had a problem with my incisions, though, so it must not be mandatory.


  • No drain for me. Maybe it has something to do with the type of fusion. I had a 360 ALIF. I believe you did as well. Perhaps the need isn't there for a drain when having an ALIF.
    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • I had what you both had and didn't have a drain. Maybe it is the doctor's choice?

  • My doc told me she was going to put in a drain but ended up noy using one, said I was the first person she didn;t put one in ..said she didn't need to???

    no idea..lol

  • I didn't have one either.
  • If I had one, I don't remember it! @) @) @)
  • I have a 6-7" incision on each side of my spine in back and a nice slice all the way from the top of my pubic bone to the bottom of my left ribcage in the front and I had no drains. I didn't have staples either - I have too many metal allergies, so they decided to stitch me up.

    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • Had a two level TLIF, no drain.
  • I didn't have one with my anterior L5/S1 fusion. The nurses said my incision was healing great on it's own. I never needed a drainage as there wasn't any fluid leaking out to drain. The was the best part and most successful part of the surgery, the incision lol.
  • Happy about it too, the cath was enough.
  • I did for all three surgeries. My neck and both lumbar fusions. They took them out the day I left the hospital. They were put in to get all the gooky stuff so an infection did not build up is what I was told. :?

    Hmm I will write my ortho nurse that took care of me and ask that question.
  • Yep I had one for 3 days, it drained a ton of bloody fluid. They were dumping 100 ml at a time and more. I was kinda concerned, but they said it was normal, and never even checked my hemaglobin. Before surgery, my NS said he will place one if things look oozy. If not, no need. I guess things were oozy ;)
  • I didn't. I had a one level ALIF with no drain :)
  • My surgery was on a Monday morning and the drain removed Wednesday morning. The first time it was emptied, it was very bloody, but each successive time was clearer. By first thing Wednesday morning, it was not draining much anymore.

    The experience of having the drain tube removed was not the most pleasant thing, but it was brief.
  • I had an anterior/posterior. We had similar surgeries, though :)

    How have you been, by the way? One year post op today!
  • Hmm... So they didn't put hardware in your spine?? Or did they, because it's titanium?

    I had staples. They gave me frankenstein scars! Haha :)
  • Hmmmm.... Well, based on all the answers, it seems like it varies not by the surgery, but more by the actual incisions themselves... Mine were totally fine. I had a little bit of blood from the back side, on the dressings... But the same dressings were left from right after surgery until I got home, and the front, my dressing had no blood on it at all, and the steri strips didn't, either. I have had about 25 piercings, and have never bled with any of them, so I wonder if maybe I'm just not much of a bleeder? I don't think my blood loss was very much, according to my o.r. reports. I will find them and see how many mLs it was... I know with my MicroD they didn't even report the mLs but it was so little...

    Thanks for all the input, guys! :) I appreciate it! I was curious... Seemed like pretty much everyone had a drain, so I was wondering why I hadn't. In the hospital I didn't notice, though. Lol. But, thanks again! :)
  • Maybe they were afraid of knocking over your laptop during the surgery. =))
  • I had one for my 2 level TLIF. It had to be removed because I developed a spinal headache.
  • Lol, unfortunately I didn't get to use my laptop until the day I was discharged :( Booooo. I didn't think of it until then. I wish I did, would have passed the time!
  • with my 3 level plif fusion in, for 4 days after surgery. My NS changed it once from surgery and it was yucky..... With it being so yucky, I'm glad I had one cause there was a lot of drainage.
  • and as Mark said, it was not the most pleasant thing being removed...the numbing shot given beforehand was what burned like h###...no joke on that...but mine was removed less than 24 hours after the surgery ended
  • i am 3 weeks out now, the pain i felt before is pretty much just switch sides, before it was on my right side now it is on my left. Is any of this happen to you? I go to see the dr tommorrow, i had to take 3 week x/ray, so i guess i will find out tommorrow.ok thanks marcy
  • They didn't put in a drain after my husband's surgery, but maybe they should have. I bought extra absorbent bandages to dress his incision and had to change them like a zillion times a day. One day I ran out and actually taped a kotex to his back. He'd kill me if he knew I told anyone. lol Hey it worked and by then he had no stiches, all had healed up except a tiny tiny little hole in the very bottom of the incision site where everything leaked out. Then suddenly one day about 5 or 6 days post surgery, it stopped. The spot it was draining from swelled up a little, kinda like a big zit and I worried that it was going to be a problem, but it never was. That was the biggest relief.
  • My last surgery I had 2 drains. They were not stitched in.

    They were emptied often and they measured the amounts and saved it. The nurses said they saved it incase I needed it back in an emergency. Hey...that's what they said.

    I asked the Dr why I was draining so much and he said "bone makes blood and I cut a lot of bone".

    The drains came out before I went home. I drained for weeks into the dressings after going home.


  • I know it's an older thread... but not only did I have two drains after my second surgery (to clean my MRSA-HA pockets of infection) but I got to take them home! they looked like two grenades stitched to my back. lovely let me tell you. I got them out two days after getting home... so I had them in a whole week. I had TONS of drainage. but it was better to have that guck OUT, you know?
  • I did for the whole week i was in the hospital and i had a PLIF. 30 staples as well, ouch! :''(

    Evelyn :H
    Had PLIF in 2008 and a Laminectomy. One level fusion, L4-L5.
  • Oh my god....this makes me even more against the surgery. Ouch!!
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