I always place a drain when I perform a cleft-lift, and it needs to be removed at some point after the surgery. Usually, it is around post op day five to seven, but sometimes it has to remain in longer because of excessive output. I need the total 24 hour output to be at or below 20 cc/day. If you went home with a drain in place, I will want you to communicate with me before removing it. This is called a “closed suction drain” or a “Blake Drain”, or is often inaccurately called a “JP Drain” (this is short for Jackson-Pratt Drain, which is similar to a Blake Drain).
With that information, I can tell if it safe to remove the drain, and give you the go-ahead to proceed.
There is no specific preparation, other than bringing the drain output record.
Most patients feel no pain, or just a little discomfort as it is removed. It is an unusual patient who finds it uncomfortable. Some patients take extra pain medication before the office visit – but usually agree afterwards that it wasn’t really necessary.
The procedure is the same whether this is done by a family member or health care personnel: