ISSN 2398-2942      

Drain: Penrose

icanis

Introduction

  • Temporary surgical implant of flattened soft latex rubber.
  • Passive drainage via combination of gravitation, capillary action and wound overflow.

Uses

Assists wound healing

  • Eliminates potential tissue dead space  Surgical drain large dead space left after resection (eg following tumor resection) which compromises vascular supply, phagocytic cell access and bacterial opsonisation.

Provides exit route for fluid from tissue

Allows drainage of contaminated exudate from a contaminated or infected wound

  • eg Drainage of fluid following surgical management of a complicated abscess.

Advantages

  • Variable sizes from 1/4 in (6.4 mm) diameter upwards Surgical drain Penrose drain
  • Reliable simple function.
  • Low cost.
  • Passive action; no suction source required. Drains MUST be able to drain via gravity.
  • Suitable for ambulatory patients Surgical drain primary wound closed with drain located dependently.
  • Efficiency dictated by size of external surface area.
  • Fenestrating drain, by itself, reduces surface area and efficiency.
  • Capillary movement of fluid promoted by external bandaging.

Disadvantages

  • Low but present risk of ascending infection.
  • Unsuitable for use in body cavities active drainage.
  • Open system and therefore if the wound may connect to the pleural space the Penrose drain is not suitable.
  • Drain itself causes some wound drainage (serosanguinous).
  • Cannot measure volume of draining fluid.
  • Protection required to prevent premature removal by patient.
  • Requires protection from self-trauma, and drain care (usually bandaging). Latex drains should never contact visceral repairs since they increase the risk of breakdown and fistula formation.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Prognosis

  • Generally good if drain well maintained and used correctly.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

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