Dr. Rankin does use drains with every explant surgery. They are small tubes that are very easy to care for (we will show you how). After explanting there are spaces that exist where the implants were. These spaces can have fluid build up and cause a seroma (fluid collection) which is prevented by the drains. The drains are generally removed when each side produces 20ml (ccs) or less over a 24 hour period. They are removed by Dr. Rankin's staff in the office. At this time, all dressings will be removed and new lighter dressings placed along with education of scar care and treatment. There is often some mild drainage around the drains which may drip onto the body. There may also be some clot like material inside the tubes which can be visualized. These are normal findings.
We use TIVA during explant surgery. This stands for 'Total Intravenous Anesthesia. It is still a 'general' anesthesia because our patients do not remember or feel any of the procedure, but there is no breathing tube (intubation) placed. There is also no gas given with this technique which causes nausea in many patients. We feel that TIVA is the most safe and effective method for our patients, and we believe strongly that our patients should wake up without feeling ANY nausea or pain.
Patients should refrain from any gym or working out for the first 3 weeks after surgery. Walking is fine and encouraged during this time. Arms should be kept at the sides for the first 2 weeks as much as possible. For weeks 3-6, light physical activity can be started with caution. After 6 weeks patients may resume normal physical activities like cardio and lower body weights, however engagement of the pec muscles (ie push ups or bench press) should be held for the first 3 months.