Short Versus Long-term Postoperative Drainage of the Axilla After Axillary Lymph Node Dissection. A Prospective Randomized Study
The dilemma of increasing costs of medical care and shrinking health budgets has stimulated attempts to implement stricter control on expenditure without affecting the quality of care. This study shows that in patients with operable breast cancer, a policy of early discharge after a mastectomy did not have deleterious effects on wound healing and was well accepted by patients. In a randomized trial, drains were removed after either 3 or 6 days postmastectomy, and in both groups of patients there was no difference between the mean volumes of seromas aspirated or the number of aspirations and return visits to the hospital. This suggests that a policy of early discharge is safe, acceptable, economical, and may improve bed utilization.