‘Mushroom’ drains for abscesses – experiences?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 769
   Posted 5/25/2009 7:54 PM (GMT -7)   

I’ve recently had a drain inserted into the side of an abscess which was not draining properly. I initially had setons inserted but there was remaining infection from my original abscess, and this was banking up, so I had a ‘mushroom drain’ put in which pops open at the top to make sure the drain doesn’t fall out, and is stitched in to the side of my original ‘abscess hole’.


The drain is about 6cm long and skin-coloured, and has stitches around in which connect to my bottom (looks scary)


Has anyone else had a similar drain to help clear an infection in the peri-anal area? I have heard tonnes about setons but not so much about these types of drains.


At the moment I wear liners to catch the drainage. The drain is quite uncomfortable to live with but it has to do its job I guess. I find it hard because I am sitting all day at my job and it pokes into my skin and get irritated.


I have no idea how long it is going to be left in but I was told it would be taken out. I have a follow up on noonday, but I was just wondering: what are your expericnes with these drains and how long were yours left in for?


Did you have to go under a general anaesthetic again to get it taken out? I am hoping they can just take it out at the drs surgery without anaesthetic as I cant get any more time off work.


Would appreciate anyone’s drain tales!



New Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 5/26/2009 5:20 AM (GMT -7)   
I had one in last year, it stayed in for about 4 weeks.  It's designed to work itself out, as the abcess heals from the top down.  So, the "tail" on your drain will continue to get longer.  If need be, you can have it cut - BUT, make sure your CR surgeon does this.  I had a general surgeon cut it, and they cut it too short, and the drain receeded back into the abcess.
It was removed in the Doctor's office, it doesn't hurt, too bad - just sounds funny - like removing a suction cup from something.
Mine healed just fine, and you can only tell there was one there because of the slight scar present.
While it was in, I wore a panty liner across the back of my underwear, to catch the drainage.  The first week or so, I wore surgical pads since I was draining a lot.
Hope all goes well!! Good luck.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 518
   Posted 5/26/2009 5:51 AM (GMT -7)   
I had one fall out all on its own--freaked me out a bit--but surgeon assured me it was fine.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 5/26/2009 2:15 PM (GMT -7)   
I had one of these drains about 2 years ago.  I found it very un-comfortable. I was in hospital at the time and the dr came round each day and cut a little piece of it off.  It eventually came away itself.  The hardest thing that I found was trying to wipe myself after a BM and as you said I had to wear a pad to catch the drainage.  Good luck with it and hope you get it removed soon. wink

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 769
   Posted 5/26/2009 3:38 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi guys, thank you so much for your replies; all really useful information!


My drain is actually stitched in, so I don’t know whether it would be possible for it to fall out on its own. Like you said, the ‘tail’ is the most annoying thing, sitting on it all day really does become a pain….. Maybe on Monday when I see them they will cut it shorter, but it has stitches around it also to keep it in place so cutting the tube would mean cutting the stitches, if you know what I mean.


Interesting that you say it will come out gradually on its own! As much as I hate the clumsiness of the big thing poking out of my butt, it really is an ingenious invention and amazing that they work.


Mine was draining A LOT the first few days and now it has settled down a lot. I am hoping the size of the infection (small) means it won’t be in for too long. But I guess I should also prepare myself for having it a month or longer. One week down!

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