Ruey Pyng Ng
Statement of the Problem: Conventionally, surgical wound drains are removed within 7 to 10 days post operatively. Hospitalization could be shortened to 2-4 days if the patients are discharged with the drain and subsequently return for its removal at the outpatient clinic. Aim: The aim of this study is to examine the readiness for early discharge with a drain amongst post-mastectomy or wide local excision with axillary clearance patients.
Methodology: A sample size of 100 patients, who were newly diagnosed with breast cancer and undergoing operation were recruited. A survey was conducted at an outpatient clinic where patients were attending the clinic for removal of drain. A returned questionnaire implied consent to the study. Descriptive data was reported.
Findings: 100 questionnaires were distributed, achieving a high response of 95% return rate. The results indicated that 75.5% were very motivated to be discharged with the drain, though 30.5% were worried about being discharged with the drain. Findings further showed that prior to discharge, 93.7% and 95.8% agreed that they were given demonstration on how to handle a Radivac drain and briefed about their discharge respectively and 90.5% were confident in managing the drain at home. 81.1% of the participants indicated that they were well-supported at home by the breast care nurses. Overall as high as 96.9% were satisfied with the early discharge planning and 93.7% were favorable about opting for early discharge with drain and 95.8% reported being well-prepared to care for themselves at home.
Conclusion & Significance: Early discharge with drain following breast cancer surgery is definitely feasible for patients provided they are well-prepared pre-and post-operatively and briefed on the expected outcome post-operatively. This study will aid in more in-depth review on surgical counseling to the patients.